Illuminating the Brain Dynamics of Attention, Learning, and Performance

Tue, Mar 17 2015

Presented By:

Kyle E. Mathewson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Faculty of Science, University of Alberta

The mechanisms by which our brain selectively attends to the world to aid performance and set the stage for future learning are well studied yet remain elusive. Dr. Mathewson's research employs optical and Electrophysiological techniques to further our understanding of the oscillatory neural mechanisms of selective attention that impact subsequent performance and learning. He will present evidence that our visual awareness of the world fluctuates from moment to moment with the phase of ongoing alpha brain oscillations, in a framework that explains neural alpha oscillations as a pulsating inhibitory mechanism of attention.

Next, he will discuss how near-infrared light can be used to optically image ongoing neuronal activity with high temporal and spatial precision, allowing for localization of the modulated and modulating sources of the attention related alpha oscillations.

Finally, he will touch on how brain imaging is traditionally constrained to laboratory environments, limiting the nature of the tasks and in turn the ecological and external validity of findings. Towards the aim of remedying this shortcoming, he will discuss methodological developments and empirical research that enable monitoring of neural markers of attention and learning during such activities as video game play and automobile driving. 

Event Details
Date Tue, Mar 17 2015
Start Time 3:30 p.m.
End Time 4:30 p.m.
Location 5-142
City Centre Campus
10700 - 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
Event Type Lecture/speaker/presentation