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SBRI member :

Nils Kolling


Research interests

The primary aim of my research is the understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying reward-guided decision making, learning and exploration. I focus particularly on the role of the frontal lobes of humans in generating choices based on rewards and other features of the environment. My interest goes beyond uncovering the neural mechanisms underlying only one particular form of decision making. I am also investigating how forms of evaluation in the frontal lobes and the rest of the brain interact and compete, and how such network dynamics are responsible for allowing more dynamic and ecological behaviour. I am also pursuing how such a view might inform a better understanding of individual differences as well as disorders of reward, learning and choice. I have recently shown how humans track an evolving context of risk, to inform their choices of whether to take contextually justified risks. Such context sensitive risk taking is not just ecologically very meaningful, but might also further our understanding of how evolving contextual constraints can dynamically change the way we make decisions as well as showing how the competition between different neural systems involved in choice changes. Additionally, I have described the neural mechanisms underlying sequential decision making, planning and insight. In particular, I have been able to relate prospective value with interactions between dorsal anterior cingulate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. My approach to cognitive computational neuroscience is highly multi-disciplinary and includes many methods and techniques. I worked across-species and across-methods, with macaques and humans using fMRI, MEG, EEG, MRS, neurostimulation, computational modelling, large online data collection, pharmacological manipulations and patients.
Ecological Cognition and Computation / Emergent Team
2023Caroline I Jahn, Jan Grohn, Steven Cuell, Andrew Emberton, Sebastien Bouret, Mark E Walton, Nils Kolling, Jérôme SalletNeural responses in macaque prefrontal cortex are linked to strategic explorationPLoS Biol
2022Jacqueline Scholl, Hailey A Trier, Matthew F S Rushworth, Nils KollingThe effect of apathy and compulsivity on planning and stopping in sequential decision-makingPLoS Biol
2021L T Hunt, N D Daw, P Kaanders, M A MacIver, U Mugan, E Procyk, A D Redish, E Russo, J Scholl, K Stachenfeld, C R E Wilson, N KollingFormalizing planning and information search in naturalistic decision-makingNat Neurosci
2021Nils Kolling, Marius Braunsdorf, Suhas Vijayakumar, Harold Bekkering, Ivan Toni, Rogier B MarsConstructing Others' Beliefs from One's Own Using Medial Frontal CortexJ Neurosci
2020Jan Grohn, Urs Schüffelgen, Franz-Xaver Neubert, Alessandro Bongioanni, Lennart Verhagen, Jerome Sallet, Nils Kolling, Matthew F S RushworthMultiple systems in macaques for tracking prediction errors and other types of surprisePLoS Biol
2018Nils Kolling, Jacqueline Scholl, Adam Chekroud, Hailey A Trier, Matthew F S RushworthProspection, Perseverance, and Insight in Sequential BehaviorNeuron
2018Nils Kolling, Jill X O'ReillyState-change decisions and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex: the importance of timeCurr Opin Behav Sci
2017Jacqueline Scholl, Nils Kolling, Natalie Nelissen, Michael Browning, Matthew F S Rushworth, Catherine J HarmerBeyond negative valence: 2-week administration of a serotonergic antidepressant enhances both reward and effort learning signalsPLoS Biol
2017Jacqueline Scholl, Nils Kolling, Natalie Nelissen, Charlotte J Stagg, Catherine J Harmer, Matthew Fs RushworthExcitation and inhibition in anterior cingulate predict use of past experiencesElife
2017Nils Kolling, Thomas Akam(Reinforcement?) Learning to forage optimallyCurr Opin Neurobiol