In a nutshell

Steve and Chris Frith define and discuss metacognition in a podcast for the Royal Society

Read Steve's article in Scientific American MIND on insight and metacognition

Our book on metacognitive neuroscience

A bit more detail

The core question that drives most of what we do in the lab is: how does the human brain engage in reflective awareness? Studying metacognition provides a useful framework for answering this question. Just as the study of the visual system relies on building and testing models of how people perceive the outside world, we use similar tools (psychophysics, computational modelling, neuroimaging) to understand how people self-reflect and monitor their cognition and behaviour.

Core questions we are interested in include: how does the human prefrontal cortex contribute to human metacognition? Does metacognition rely on common or distinct mechanisms across different domains, such as perception and memory? How do "local" fluctuations in metacognitive estimates relate to "global" variables such as self-esteem and anxiety? Is metacognition disrupted in mental health, and can we develop techniques and approaches to restore or improve metacognition? What's the use of metacognition, and how does it aid control of decision-making, learning and memory? How does metacognition contribute to conscious awareness?

The lab's work is currently funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society. We also run studies in collaboration with Hakwan Lau, who runs the Consciousness and Metacognition lab at UCLA.