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Brascamp Lab Our research focuses on the neural processes of interpretation and selection that allow sensation (the retinas detecting light) to turn into conscious visual perception (seeing). We approach this topic using a diverse array of techniques from psychology and neuroscience, including psychophysics, brain imaging (fMRI), computational modeling, eye tracking and brain stimulation (TMS).
Cognitive Control Neurolab Our research focuses on the cognitive processes necessary to achieve one's goals in a constantly changing environment. In our research, we emphasize two cognitive abilities that allow us to successfully perform many everyday tasks - working memory and task switching. Through the use of converging methodologies such as fMRI, neuropsychological, and behavioral techniques, we are able to investigate these abilities in novel ways. Essentially, we emphasize both words in the term "cognitive neuroscience"; that is we attempt to refine theories of working memory and task switching in cognitive psychology by determining whether its claims are supported by models of brain functioning. In the same way, we test predictions about the functions of neural regions based on theories provided by cognitive psychology.
Expertise Lab The Expertise Lab focuses on the origins and underpinnings of skill in domains such as music, games, sports, and professions. Research in the Expertise Lab uses state-of-the-art techniques to identify factors that explain differences across people in the attainment of high-level skill in these domains. If you are interested in learning more, please visit our website at www.scienceofexpertise.com
Knowledge in Development Lab Our lab researches how children think about information in the world around them and how children seek out and evaluate knowledge throughout their development. We are interested in questions such as: (How do children decide where to look for answers?), (What kinds of information do children share with other people?), (How do children know when an answer is satisfactory?)
Laboratory for Cognitive and Decision Sciences Using cognitive models to understand causes of risky behavior / Experience-based decision making / Cognitive Architecture of judgment and decision making
Neuroimaging of Perception and Attention Laboratory How do we perceive the visual world--a world full of different types of sensory stimulation-- brightness, color, movement, shapes, etc? How do we seletively attend to certain things while ingore other things? How does the seletive processing of information guide action and affect memory? These are some of the questions that we are investigating in our laboratory. We study the brain mechanisms of perception and attention using a combination of human psychophysics and funtional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Our ultimate goal is to understand how we attend and how attention influences other cognitive functions. Our approach is to relate behavioral performance to brain activity in order to gain insight into the fundamental mechanisms of perception and attention.
Perception & Attention Lab My lab investigates how attention alters the way visual information is represented. Some of our research suggests that conscious awareness of visual scenes is very limited, containing only the 3 to 5 items which are the current focus of attention. Further, once attention leaves an object it is no longer consciously represented. This close link between attention and conscious experience highlights the importance of allocating attentional resources efficiently to the “appropriate” parts of a visual scene.
Sleep and Learning Lab The Sleep and Learning Lab investigates the acquisition and consolidation of complex skills and episodic memory. A primary focus of the lab is on memory consolidation, the processing of memory after initial acquisition. This processing can serve to change memory, often strengthening and stabilizing memory, and increasing resistance to forgetting. We approach this question from several different perspectives, with a special emphasis on the role of sleep in consolidating memory. While we do not understand much about the biological and psychological functions of sleep, there is growing evidence that sleep plays a role in the process of memory consolidation. The lab uses basic behavioral paradigms as well as implementing polysomnography during sleep and using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Timing, Attention & Perception Laboratory Work in the Timing, Attention, and Perception (TAP) Lab focuses on understanding how humans and other animals perceive the timing of events (e.g., duration, tempo, and rhythm) and use this information to (a) coordinate perception and action, (b) direct attention, and (c) in the case of humans, facilitate speech and language processing. We use a range of methodologies, including behavioral methods with children and adults, mathematical modeling, targeted lesions and pharmacological manipulations in animal models, and functional magnetic resonance imaging. With respect to language, TAP lab research focuses on both the pitch and time (prosodic) characteristics of spoken language and their role in speech perception, word segmentation, and lexical processing. In this regard, we are particularly interested in commonalities in the neural and cognitive underpinnings of music and language.