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Joseph Orr

Assistant Professor
Areas of Speciality
  • Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychology 240
Professional Links
Office Hours
Office hours for Fall 2021 By Appointment
Accepting Students
Yes for 2022-2023

Research Interests

Dr. Orr directs the Cognitive Neuroscience of Goals and Actions Laboratory (CONGAlab). Research in the CONGAlab examines the psychological and neural mechanisms underlying executive functions. Specifically, we are interested in the mechanisms that enable us to flexibly adapt to changes in the environment or changes in our internal goals. These mechanisms enable us to multitask or switch quickly from one task to another. Work from the lab has demonstrated that while people tend to avoid switching tasks when given the choice, they are more efficient at switching when the choice is driven by internal goals rather than external cues. We are investigating the factors that maximize these abilities-such as reward, as well as factors that interfere with these abilities-such as fatigue. Work in the lab involves behavioral approaches, computational modeling, non-invasive brain stimulation, pupillometry, and neuroimaging (MRI, EEG/ERP). Dr. Orr’s work is currently funded by the National Science Foundation.

Recent Publications

* denotes A&M graduate student

Orr, J.M., *Lopez, J., *Imburgio, M.J., Pelletier-Baldelli, A., Bernard, J.A. & Mittal, V.A. (2020). Adolescents at clinical high risk for psychosis show qualitatively altered patterns of activation during rule learning. NeuroImage: Clinical, 27, 102286.

*Beda, Z., Smith, S.M., & Orr, J.M. (2020). Creativity on Demand – Hacking into Creative Problem Solving. NeuroImage, 216, 116867.

Orr, J.M., *Imburgio, M., Bernard, J.A., & Banich, M.T. (2019). Striatal-frontal network activation during voluntary task selection under conditions of monetary reward. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 19(5), 568–585.

*Imburgio, M.J. & Orr, J.M. (2018). Effects of Prefrontal tDCS on Executive Function: Methodological Considerations Revealed by Meta-Analysis. Neuropsychologia, 117, 156-166.

*Lusher, J., Ji, J., & Orr, J.M. (2018). High-Performance Correlation and Mapping Engine for Rapid Generating Brain Connectivity Networks from Big fMRI Data. Journal of Computational Science, 26, 157-164.

Orr, J.M., Paschall, C.J., & Banich, M.T. (2016). Recreational marijuana use impacts white matter integrity and subcortical (but not cortical) morphometry. NeuroImage: Clinical, 12, 45-56.


Recent Grants

NSF 1928695, “Augmenting Spatial Cognition Capabilities of Future Workforce for Enhanced Human Performance in Altered Gravitational Environments Using Virtual Reality Technologies.”

Accepting Graduate Students

Accepting New Graduate Students 2020-2021; please contact Dr. Orr to discuss fit