Birte U. Forstmann

Learn More
Human decision-making almost always takes place under time pressure. When people are engaged in activities such as shopping, driving, or playing chess, they have to continually balance the demands for fast decisions against the demands for accurate decisions. In the cognitive sciences, this balance is thought to be modulated by a response threshold, the(More)
Cognitive control processes refer to our ability to coordinate thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals. In the fronto-lateral cortex such processes have been primarily related to mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (mid-DLPFC). However, recent brain-imaging and meta-analytic studies suggest that a region located more posterior in the(More)
In many situations, decision makers need to negotiate between the competing demands of response speed and response accuracy, a dilemma generally known as the speed-accuracy tradeoff (SAT). Despite the ubiquity of SAT, the question of how neural decision circuits implement SAT has received little attention up until a year ago. We review recent studies that(More)
The ability to suppress one's impulses and actions constitutes a fundamental mechanism of cognitive control, thought to be subserved by the right inferior frontal cortex (rIFC). The neural bases of more selective inhibitory control when selecting between two actions have thus far remained articulated with less precision. Selective inhibition can be explored(More)
In perceptual decision-making, advance knowledge biases people toward choice alternatives that are more likely to be correct and more likely to be profitable. Accumulation-to-bound models provide two possible explanations for these effects: prior knowledge about the relative attractiveness of the alternatives at hand changes either the starting point of the(More)
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) methods may help in understanding processes of response capture and response inhibition in conflict tasks, such as the Simon task. However, data-driven approaches thus far have not yielded consistent insights into these processes. Here, a theory-driven approach is introduced that capitalizes on individual(More)
When people make decisions they often face opposing demands for response speed and response accuracy, a process likely mediated by response thresholds. According to the striatal hypothesis, people decrease response thresholds by increasing activation from cortex to striatum, releasing the brain from inhibition. According to the STN hypothesis, people(More)
In everyday life, we have to selectively adapt our behavior to different situations and tasks. In cognitive psychology, such adaptive behavior can be investigated with the task-switching paradigm. However, in contrast to everyday life, in experiments participants are unequivocally told which task to perform. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging(More)
To head rather than heed to temptations is easier said than done. Since tempting actions are often contextually inappropriate, selective suppression is invoked to inhibit such actions. Thus far, laboratory tasks have not been very successful in highlighting these processes. We suggest that this is for three reasons. First, it is important to dissociate(More)
In theory, a comparison of two experimental effects requires a statistical test on their difference. In practice, this comparison is often based on an incorrect procedure involving two separate tests in which researchers conclude that effects differ when one effect is significant (P < 0.05) but the other is not (P > 0.05). We reviewed 513 behavioral,(More)