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Adam Aron


My research has two parallel streams: cognitive neuroscience and social psychology of the climate crisis.

Cognitive neuroscience: I am interested in how we stop and otherwise control our response tendencies (i.e. the field of ‘executive function’ or ‘cognitive control’). In humans we use experimental psychology behavioral paradigms along with the techniques of functional MRI, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, and EEG/deep brain recording. We also study neurological patients, including those with Parkinson’s disease. In a collaborative effort at UCSD, we also study response control in mice, using optogenetics.

Climate crisis: Urgent action is needed at a large­ societal scale to prevent the worst consequences of anthropogenic global heating. Better understanding the prospects for such action can come from human psychology. How do people arrive at their beliefs? What is the basis of denial and delay? How does belief flow to action? What kinds of actions can people take on the climate crisis? How and when will they join together? I am interested in applied research on these questions that is informed by experience with, and the needs of, the climate movement.

  • Jana S, Hannah R, Muralhidaran V, Aron AR (2020). Temporal cascade of frontal, motor and muscle processes underlying human action-stopping. eLife.
  • Aron AR, Ivry RB, Jeffery KJ, Poldrack RA, Schmidt R, Summerfield C, Urai AE (2020). How can neuroscientists respond to the climate emergency? Neuron
  • Aron AR (2019). The climate crisis needs attention from cognitive scientists. Trends in Cognitive Science
  • Aron AR and Verbruggen F (2008). Stop the presses: dissociating a selective from a global mechanism for stopping. Psychological Science
  • Aron AR, Poldrack RA (2006). Cortical and subcortical contributions to Stop signal response inhibition: role of the subthalamic nucleus. Journal of Neuroscience.
  • Aron AR, Fletcher P, Bullmore ET, Sahakian BJ, and Robbins TW (2003). Stop-signal inhibition disrupted by damage to right inferior frontal gyrus in humans. Nature Neuroscience

Updated Aug 2020