Getting a grip on cognitive flexibility.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Cognitive flexibility refers to the ability to quickly reconfigure our mind, like when we switch between different tasks. This review highlights recent evidence showing that cognitive flexibility can be conditioned by simple incentives typically known to drive lower-level learning, such as stimulus-response associations. Cognitive flexibility can also become associated with, and triggered by, bottom-up contextual cues in our environment, including subliminal cues. Therefore, we suggest that the control functions that mediate cognitive flexibility are grounded in, and guided by, basic associative learning mechanisms, and abide by the same learning principles as more low-level forms of behavior. Such a learning perspective on cognitive flexibility offers new directions and important implications for further research, theory, and applications.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Braem, S; Egner, T

Published Date

  • December 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 470 - 476

PubMed ID

  • 30555214

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6291219

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-8721

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0963-7214

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0963721418787475


  • eng