The influence of aging on the dynamics of performance monitoring and change-of-mind decisions


4 Minute read

Due to improvements in health care systems and medical care in most developed countries (including Germany and Australia), the average life expectancy has risen well above 80 years in recent years. Aging, however, has several direct and indirect effects on cognitive functions, for example decision-making and cognitive control, that are important to understand in order to improve the quality of life of elderly people.

The details

This project will investigate whether the ability to change one’s mind and correct errors is directly dependent on processing decision-relevant sensory evidence and whether healthy elderly people rely on sensory information more than younger people. The project will comprise response time modelling, the analysis of response force profiles, and electroencephalography (EEG) to predict decisions and error correction processes directly from brain activity.

Graduate researcher profile: Yiu Hong Ko


My PhD commenced at the University of Melbourne in March 2018. I completed an MPhil degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Melbourne and a BS in Agricultural Engineering from the University of the Philippines Los Baños.

My PhD research is focused on the role of lipids in plant-microbe interaction under heat stress and the first year of my study has been utilised to research optimizing protocols and experiments for phenotyping the beneficial effects of microbes in Arabidopsis. Highlights of this year include identifying and receiving my strain from overseas (although initially under biosecurity), successfully growing my inoculated plants, and performing phenotyping and lipid extraction. I will spend the second year of my PhD at the Forschungszentrum Jülich conducting experiments utilising their advanced phenotyping platforms.

Living in Melbourne has been a fun experience. You don’t just get to interact with people from different backgrounds but also experience their culture (and taste their foods!) It is easy to get around with lots of beautiful places to explore, with helpful instructions (and people to ask if you get lazy figuring things out your way). Living in this beautiful city does not come cheap as it is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Nonetheless, Melbourne has a lot to offer and I am looking forward to more experiences in Jülich.


Supervision team

First published on 12 May 2022.

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