William Alexander

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  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Psychology
  • walexander@fau.edu
  • Boca Raton - BS, 310

Education

Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington, 2006

Research Interests

Computational Modeling

Cognitive Neuroscience

Prefrontal cortex

Cognitive control

Decision-making

Neuroimaging

Research Description

My research investigates the computational mechanisms underlying the function of prefrontal cortex.  Prefrontal cortex is implicated in a wide array of cognitive behaviors, including abstract reasoning, goal-oriented planning, and decision-making.  By developing computational models, my research aims to understand how regions within prefrontal cortex collaborate in order to support high-level cognition.  The goal of this research is to understand both the healthy function of prefrontal cortex, as well as how this function collapses in neuropsychological disorders.

Recent Publications

  1. Vassena E., Deraeve, J., and Alexander, W.H. (submitted).  Testing competing models of anterior cingulate cortex.
  1. Alexander, W.H. and Womesldorf, T. (in prep). Interactions between medial and lateral prefrontal cortex in hierarchical predictive coding.
  1. Cogliati-Dezza, I., Cleeremans, A., and Alexander, W.H. (revised). Should we control? The interplay between cognitive control and information integration in the resolution of the exploration-exploitation dilemma.
  1. Vassena, E., Deraeve, J., and Alexander, W.H. (revised). Order of motivational information influences task performance and decision-making
  1. Alexander, W.H., and Brown, J.W. (2018).  Frontal cortex function as derived from hierarchical predictive coding. Scientific Reports 8, 4312.
  1. Deraeve, J. and Alexander, W.H. (2018). Fast, accurate and stable feature extraction using neural networks. Neuroinformatics
  1. Cogliati-Dezza, I., Yu, A., Cleeremans, A., and Alexander, W.H. (2017). Learning the value of information and reward over time when solving exploration-exploitation problems. Scientific Reports, 7, 16919.
  1. Alexander. W.H., and Brown, J.W. (2017).  The role of anterior cingulate cortex in prediction error and signaling surprise. Topics in Cognitive Science
  1. Vassena, E., Holroyd, C., and Alexander, W.H. (2017). Computational models of anterior cingulate cortex: At the crossroads between prediction and effort.  Frontiers in Neuroscience, 11, 316.
  1. Alexander, W.H., Vassena., E., Hayden., B.Y., Brown, J.W., and Collins, A.E. (2017).  Prefrontal cortex in control: Broadening the scope to identify mechanisms. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience,29.
  1. Brown, J.W., and Alexander, W.H. (2017).  Foraging value, risk avoidance, and multiple control signals: How the anterior cingulate cortex controls value-based decision-making.  Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 29, 1656-1673.
  1. Alexander, W.H., Vassena, E., Deraeve, J., and Langford, Z. D. (2017). Integrative modeling of prefrontal cortex. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 29, 1674-1683.
  1. Vassena, E., Deraeve, J., and Alexander, W.H. (2017). Predicting motivation: computational models of PFC can explain neural coding of motivation and effort-based decision-making in health and disease. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 29, 1633-1645.
  1. Jahn, A., Nee., D.E., Alexander, W.H., and Brown, J.W. (2016).  Distinct regions of pain and prediction error within medial prefrontal cortex. Journal of Neuroscience36(49), 12385-12392.
  1. Alexander, W.H., and Brown, J.W. (2015).  Hierarchical Error Representation: A computational model of anterior cingulate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Neural Computation, 27, 2354-2410
  1. Alexander, W.H. , Fukunaga, R., Finn, P., and Brown, J.W. (2015). Rewardsalience and risk aversion underlie differential ACC activity in substance dependence. Neuroimage: Clinical 8, 59-71.
  1. Silvetti, M., Alexander, W.H., Verguts, T., and Brown, J.W. (2014). From conflict management to reward-based decision making: Actors and critics in primate medial frontal cortex. Neuroscience and Behavioral Reviews. 46(1), 44-57.
  1. Alexander, W.H. and Brown, J.W. (2014). A general role for medial prefrontal cortex in event prediction. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 8:69
  1. Jahn, A., Nee, D.E., Alexander, W.H., and Brown, J.W. (2014). Distinct regions of anterior cingulate cortex signal prediction and outcome evaluation. Neuroimage 95,80-89
  1. Zarr, N, Brown, J.W., and Alexander, W.H. (2014). Discounting of reward sequences: a test of competing formal models of hyperbolic discounting. Frontiers in Psychology.
  1. Alexander, W.H. and Brown, J.W. (2011).  Medial prefrontal cortex as an action-outcome predictor. Nature Neuroscience 14(10), 1338-1344.
  1. Alexander, W.H. and Brown, J.W.  (2010). Computational models of response-outcome prediction as a basis for cognitive control. Topics in Cognitive Science 2(4), 658-677.
  1. Alexander, W.H. and Brown, J.W. (2010).  Hyperbolically discounted temporal difference learning. Neural Computation 22(6), 1511-27.
  1. Alexander, W.H. and Brown, J.W. (2010). Competition between learned reward and error outcome predictions in anterior cingulate cortex. Neuroimage, 49(5), 3210-3218
  1. Alexander, W.H. (2007). Shifting Attention Using a Temporal Difference Prediction Error and High-Dimensional Input. Adaptive Behavior, 15, 121-133
  1. Alexander, W.H. and Sporns, O. (2006).  Temporal difference learning with learned attention shifts.  Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Development and Learning.  Bloomington, IN.
  1. Alexander, W.H. and Sporns, O. (2004). Interactions of environment, behavior, and synaptic patterns in a neuro-robotic model.  In:  Animals to Animats 8: Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on the Simulation of Adaptive Behavior,pp. 13-22, Schaal, S., Ijspeert, A., Billard, A., Vijayakumar, S., Hallam, J., and Meyer, J-A. (Editors). MIT Press: Cambridge, MA.
  2. Sporns, O. and Alexander, W.H. (2003).  Neuromodulation in a learning robot: Interactions between neural plasticity and behavior.  Proceedings of IJCNN 2003, 2789-2794.
  1. Alexander, W.H. and Sporns, O. (2003).  An Embodied Model of Learning, Plasticity, and Reward.  Adaptive Behavior. Vol 10(3-4), Sum 2002, pp. 143-159
  1. Sporns, O., and Alexander, W.H. (2002).  Neuromodulation and plasticity in an autonomous robot.  Neural Networks. Vol 15(4-6), Jun-Jul 2002, pp. 761-774.
  1. Alexander, W.H.  and Sporns, O (2002). Timed delivery of reward signals in an autonomous robot.  In: Animals to Animats 7: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on the Simulation of Adaptive Behavior, pp. 195-204, Hallam, B., Floreano, D., Hallam, J., Hayes, G. and Meyer, J-A. (Editors), MIT Press: Cambridge, MA.
  1. Sporns, O., and Alexander, W.H. (2002). Dopamine, reward conditioning, and robot behavior. In: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Development and Learning, pp. 265-270, IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA.

 

 

Scholarly Activities