Catherine Culot

Ph.D. Student


Both in normal populations and in patients with cardiovascular disease, a relation has been observed between the state of the heart and executive functions. In my project I focus on the relation between heart functioning and cognitive control. That is, I will investigate the relation between heart functioning and those processes that enable us to monitor our performance and to adapt our behavior in case needed. To study this relation three main questions are asked. First, is heart functioning involved in our ability to monitor our performance while performing a task? Second, performance monitoring can be done both reactively (reacting to conflict) and proactively (anticipating conflict), but it is not clear to which one heart functioning is related. Finally, I will investigate whether the cardiac function can be related to our ability to adapt our behavior after conflict detection. These questions will be investigated both in healthy participants and in patients with cardiovascular disease. An in depth understanding of the relation between heart functioning and cognitive control is important for two reasons. First, there is a clear theoretical benefit involving autonomous functions within current cognitive control theories. Indeed, these theories take only a very limited account of the autonomous functioning. Secondly, for clinical practice in patients with cardiovascular disease it is important knowing that alterations of these kinds of processes have a huge impact on the medical self-management and the quality of life in the case of these patients.

Research Topics

    Catherine Culot / selected publications

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