Todd Braver

Todd Braver

​Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Radiology, and Neuroscience
William R. Stuckenberg Professor in Human Values and Moral Development
PhD, Carnegie Mellon
MS, Carnegie Mellon
BS, University of California, San Diego
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    • Washington University
      CB 1125
      One Brookings Drive
      St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Todd Braver studies the brain mechanisms by which individuals exert control over their thoughts and behavior, and how this control can break down.  

    Braver is a cognitive neuroscientist investigating attention, working memory, and cognitive control using a variety of research methods, including behavioral analysis, functional neuroimaging, individual differences, special populations, and computational modeling.  His research examines the psychological and neural mechanisms by which people actively maintain information – such as goals, instructions, plans, or specific prior events – for short periods of time, and then use this information to appropriately guide and control their behavior.  He is interested in individual differences in these abilities, and how they interact with affect and motivation. A current line of research examines how mindfulness training impacts cognitive control and psychological function, using behavioral and brain imaging measures as well as naturalistic assessments.  

      Representative Publications: 

      • Lin, Y., Tang, R., and Braver, T.S. (2022). Investigating mindfulness influences on cognitive function: On the promise and potential of converging research strategies. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 29, 1198-1222.
      • Freund, M.C., Etzel, J.A., and Braver, T.S. (2021).  Neural coding of cognitive control: The representational similarity analysis approach. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 25, 622-638.
      • Braver, T.S., Kizhner, A., Tang, R., Freund, M.C., Etzel, J.A. (2021). The Dual Mechanisms of Cognitive Control (DMCC) Project.  Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 33, 1990-2015. doi:10.1101/2020.09.18.304402.
      • Botvinick, M.M. and Braver, T.S. (2015).  Motivation and cognitive control: From behavior to neural mechanism.  Annual Review of Psychology, 66, 83-113. PMID: 25251491.
      • Braver, T.S. (2012).  The variable nature of cognitive control:  A dual-mechanisms framework.   Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 16, 106-113. PMC3289517.