Conflict and cognitive control in the brain

Vincent Van Veen, Cameron S Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


Recent research from cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience has suggested that the control mechanisms by which people are able to regulate task performance can be dissociated into evaluative and executive components. One process, implemented in the anterior cingulate cortex of the brain, monitors the amount of conflict that occurs during information processing; another process, implemented in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, is involved with maintaining the requirements of the task at hand and with biasing information processing in favor of appropriate responses. In the current article, we review this theory and some of the research that has supported it, including its implication for understanding cognitive disturbances in clinical disorders such as schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. We conclude by addressing several interesting possibilities for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-240
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Anterior cingulate cortex
  • Attention
  • Cognition
  • Interference control
  • Prefrontal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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