This is the online home for the Cognitive Neuroscience of Goals & Action laboratory (CONGAlab) in the Department of Psychology at Texas A&M University. The CONGAlab is directed by Joseph Orr. The CONGAlab seeks to understand how behavior is controlled by internal (e.g., goals, motivation, drives) and external (e.g., stimuli ) factors. While we may think that our behavior is always under our voluntary control, this is not always the case. Our behavior is sometime hijacked by factors that are difficult to override, such as cravings and salient distractors. Overcoming such biases relies on the prefrontal cortex of the brain. We study the basic neural mechanisms that underlie voluntary task selection, how these mechanisms vary across the population, as well as how these mechanisms are disrupted in those with addiction and other mental illnesses such as psychosis.
We use a variety of techniques including behavioral studies, functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), white matter imaging, non-invasive brain stimulation, and electrophysiology. To learn more about our previous work, see Publication. Get to know our team members under People. Read about our ongoing studies under Projects. And if you are interested in supporting our work, see the Donate page.