Birte Forstmann conducts research into behavioural and neural mechanisms that underlie adaptive cognitive control. She is particularly interested in individual differences in decision-making and interference control, which she tests using MRI technology. In her work, Forstmann combines mathematical and descriptive models with the use of functional MRI (a special MRI technique that uses a computer to generate three-dimensional images of neural activity) and Diffusion Tensor MRI (DTI), which is a relatively new technique used to image information about tissue structures.
Forstmann has been a research fellow at the UvA and head of its Quantitative Cognitive Neuroscience Lab since 2008. She has been awarded several research grants, including a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) and a Vidi grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Forstmann has published in renowned journals as Nature Neuroscience, PNAS and The Journal of Neuroscience. Forstmann is also a member of the programme committee of the Spinoza Centre.