Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience


Metacognition & Executive Functions

Metacognition and Executive Functions group investigates the processes that supervise the operation of other cognitive processes and which are primarily located in the frontal lobes of the brain. The group is jointly led by Prof Paul Burgess, Dr Sam Gilbert and Emeritus Prof Tim Shallice.

Paul Burgess

Group Leader



+44 20 7679 1139

Paul Burgess

Sam Gilbert

Group Leader



+44 20 7679 1121

Sam Gilbert

Tim Shallice

Group Leader



Tim Shallice

Metacognition & Executive Functions Research

The group carries out research on executive functions, the processes that supervise the operation of other cognitive processes and which are primarily located in the frontal lobes of the brain. We use a variety of cognitive neuroscience methods, principally functional imaging (PET, fMRI), human neuropsychology (group lesion studies, single case investigations), computational modelling, human experimental psychological investigations, developmental studies (i.e. studies of how cognition changes as the brain develops) and studies of ageing. The 4 main strands of research being carried out by the group focus on: the roles played by different regions of the frontal lobes in human cognition (particularly brain area 10); the processes controlling how information is stored and retrieved from memory; planning, multitasking, and remembering delayed intentions (prospective memory); the clinical applications of our work (e.g. cognitive neurorehabilitation, psychological treatments, development of assessment tools).

Group Members

Post-Doctoral Research Fellows

 Annika Boldt

Annika Bold

I am interested in how the human brain is capable of forming metacognitive judgements. Metacognition is usually defined as thinking about one’s own thoughts and actions. This important and ubiquitous ability serves to optimise behaviour in countless situations, ensuring that we have control over what we are doing. If we lose control, metacognitive warning signals ensure the additional allocation of attentional resources.

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PhD Students 

Clarisse Aichelburg


The aim of my PhD is to investigate various properties of intention encoding and their effects on brain activity associated with prospective memory, with the main objective to clarify how they link to successful prospective memory. The involvement of three particular properties in intention encoding will be addressed, namely imagery, the valuation of intentions as well as their timing specificity for realisation.

James Crum

James Crum

My research focuses on using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to measure brain activity and model functional events occurring in ecological settings in which people engage in real-world tasks. General research interests include typical and atypical functional specialization and integration within the prefrontal cortex, autism spectrum disorders, prospection, emotional regulation, and executive functions such as reasoning, strategy generation, and monitoring.

Chhavi Sachdeva

Blank Portrait

My research lies within the Metacognition and Executive Functions research group at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. I specifically focus on cognitive offloading and how metacognition influences intention offloading behaviour. I am also interested in how interventions or feedback might change metacognitive judgments, and how this change might influence offloading bias.

Affiliate Lab Members

Sarah White

Sarah White

Sarah White is interested in mentalising, central coherence and executive function in autism & Asperger Syndrome. Cognitive subtypes and individual differences in the autism spectrum and their relationship to behaviour. Understanding of social stereotypes in autism. Sensorimotor impairments in dyslexia and other developmental disorders.