Acting according to one’s own intentions is a key aspect of human behavior. In most situations, we
have a goal we want to reach (What do I want?), and we can name reasons for wanting to reach
that goal (Why do I want it?). The proposed research will systematically investigate the interaction
of intentional (What) and motivational (Why) control processes in the brain. Previous research
largely focused on either intentional or motivational control. It has been established that two partly
overlapping neural networks are associated with both control processes. However, by studying
these processes in isolation one cannot directly assess the neural basis of their interaction. The
proposed research will systematically investigate the neural basis of intentional and motivational
control processes, directly assessing motivational effects on intentional control, and vice versa. For
this, we will employ different neuroimaging methods and computational modelling techniques.
Using rigorous designs and state-of-the-art analysis methods, this research program will lead to a
much clearer understanding of why and how humans reach their desired goals.