Professor Michael Anderson

University Position
Programme Leader


Dr. Anderson focuses on fundamental mechanisms of memory, attention, and cognitive control, and their interaction. A central observation is that memory, like other aspects of cognition and behaviour, poses problems of control. Dr. Anderson uses behavioural, haemodynamic (fMRI) and electrophysiological (EEG) neuroimaging to investigate the cognitive and neural mechanisms by which people suppress distracting and unwanted memories. A key focus is on the hypothesis that memory control engages mechanisms involved in suppressing prepotent responses, to down-regulate activity in neural structures that represent past experience, disrupting memory. The project is thus concerned with the role of frontally-mediated inhibitory control mechanisms in both incidental and motivated forgetting. These theoretical issues have direct translational relevance. The program studies healthy volunteers, young and older, and patients with disordered control over memory, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Key Publications


Dynamic targeting enables domain-general inhibitory control over action and thought by the prefrontal cortex.

Journal: Nat Commun
E-pub date: 12 Jan 2022
Authors: D Apšvalka, CS Ferreira, TW Schmitz, JB Rowe, MC Anderson

Intentional retrieval suppression can conceal guilty knowledge in ERP memory detection tests.

Journal: Biol Psychol
E-pub date: 1 Sep 2013
Authors: ZM Bergström, MC Anderson, M Buda, JS Simons, A Richardson-Klavehn