Thinking about thinking

28th Nov 2018

Brain and Neuroscience Advances HeaderMetacognition, in other words: thinking about thinking, is the reflection on cognitive processes. In metacognitive experiments, people are asked to judge and monitor their behaviour and that of others before or after a task.

This article by Vaccaro and Fleming (2018), recently published in the BNA’s journal ‘Brain and Neuroscience Advances’, describes a meta-analysis of 47 studies on metacognition.

The results of this analysis show which brain areas have been found to be involved in metacognition the most, which are particularly located in the prefrontal cortex. This area is responsible for executive processes such as planning, decision making, personality and controlling social behaviour.

Moreover, different brain areas are involved in predicting how well a person will perform on a task before doing it and how well they have performed the task after finishing it (prospective and retrospective metacognition respectively). Similarly, the studies show a difference in activation in the areas involved in metadecision and metamemory.

This article accurately summarizes current metacognition research and shows how important understanding this process is, as deficits greatly affect quality of life and have been linked with mental disorders.

To access the full review article, click here

Vaccaro, A.G. and Fleming, S.M., 2018. Thinking about thinking: A coordinate-based meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies of metacognitive judgements. Brain and Neuroscience Advances, 2

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