What a brain!

This week Vinod Goel (far left), who received a Premier’s Research Excellence Award (PREA) recently, was given a memento of the award by VP Research & Innovation Stan Shapson, in the form of a framed certificate signed by former Premier Michael Harris.

Goel, a cognitive neuroscientist in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, specializes in the field of functional brain imaging, neuropsychology and the computational modelling of brain functions. In his work he delves into what the neural mechanisms are underlying human reasoning and problem solving.

Humans are considered to be rational creatures,” Goel says. “While there is a large amount of philosophical and psychological literature on rationality and reasoning, little is known about the neural basis of rational behaviour.” His past research has examined how the brain responds during logical reasoning. He now plans to look at the question of how our beliefs and emotional biases about the world affect the reasoning process. In particular he will investigate what happens in the brain when our beliefs and biases about the world interact/conflict with the logic of a situation or problem.