Andrew westbrook | Post doc
After an early career in Environmental Science & Engineering, Andrew joined Todd Braver at Washington University in Saint Louis to study cognitive control, motivation, and decision-making. A personal interest in cognitive effort (and the lack thereof) led Andrew to his dissertation work on the neural correlates (in fMRI data) of subjective value during decision-making about cognitive effort. Since defending, he joined Roshan Cools at the Donders Institute, in collaboration with Michael Frank at Brown University, investigating how striatal dopamine signaling modulates cognitive control using a combination of PET imaging, pharmacology, eye-tracking, and systems-level neural network modeling. This led to a successful NIH Post-doctoral fellowship studying how striatal dopamine influences cost-benefit decision-making about cognitive effort in combination with factors like visual attention and action prepotency. In addition, Andrew is also analyzing another dataset acquired by Roshan's team, analyzing how working memory interacts with reinforcement learning mechanisms and how those are influenced by striatal dopamine function as well. Finally, the team is also considering how to predict striatal dopamine synthesis capacity from a range of diverse behavioral and self-report variables collected in a larger pharmaco-imaging project.