Prof. Iroise Dumontheil
Self-regulation: Harnessing Executive Control
1.30 - 2.30pm
Over the course of their development children and adolescents become increasingly able to effectively regulate their thoughts and actions to attain their goals, reflecting greater executive control, e.g. they may become more able to sustain their attention in the classroom, resist peer pressure or inhibit socially inappropriate behaviours. Individual differences in executive control predict academic achievement, and associate with emotional problem behaviours. Executive control has therefore become the target for interventions. Recent research suggests that incorporating metacognitive reflection within executive control interventions may enhance their success. I will present some examples of this type of research in primary and secondary school children, ranging from an intervention encouraging children to “Stop and Think” when solving maths and science problems to a forum theatre play about adolescents’ emotional regulation.
Dr Iroise Dumontheil is a Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London. She obtained a PhD from the University of Paris VI and then was a postdoc in labs in London, Cambridge and Stockholm. She is a member of Centre for Educational Neuroscience and the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development. In 2015 she received the Spearman Medal, an early-career British Psychological Society award, and in 2017 the British Neuropsychological Society Elizabeth Warrington Prize. Her research focuses on the typical development of social cognition and cognitive control during adolescence and their functioning in adulthood. Her studies combine a variety of methods to study brain and cognitive development including functional and structural neuroimaging, behavioural assessments, and genetics. She is interested in the impact of cognitive training, from computerised games to mindfulness meditation practice, on cognition in children and adolescents, as well as the potential implications of neuroscience research for education.