Individual differences in cognitive abilities are almost universally conceptualized as traits: Stable, relatively unchanging properties of individuals. However, this perspective ignores cognitive fluctuations Short term changes in cognitive performance within persons. Individuals with more variable performance are more likely to be mis-stratified into schools or careers with potential lifelong consequences, and more likely to perform at levels that necessitate intervention for periods of time. In this talk I will argue this is an overlooked yet crucial aspect of cognitive performance, with distinct neural and physiological mechanisms. I will describe how to model variability, and describe some preliminary analyses demonstrating its promise.

Dr Rogier Kievit | Fitzwilliam College Cambridge

Rogier Kievit
Professor of Developmental Neuroscience
Donders Institute



Rogier Kievit – Individual differences in cognitive fluctuation: Meaning and mechanisms