This week, we are fortunate to have a special talk from Professor Steven Yantis.
Professor Yantis is a renowned expert on visual selective attention and cognitive control. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and of the Association for Psychological Science. He is also a recipient of the Troland Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences USA, recognizing conspicuous achievement in empirical investigations concerning the relationship between consciousness and the physical world.
Details for the talk are as follows...
Wednesday the 18th of April
11:00 am in room 306
School of Psychology
The University of Queensland
Cortical Mechanisms of Cognitive Control
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
The Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
We have investigated the neural basis of human attentional control during tasks that require voluntary shifts of visual and auditory attention between locations, features, objects, and sensory modalities. In each domain, we consistently observe two aspects of cognitive control: (1) domain-specific attentional modulation of sensory cortex that reflects sustained states of perceptual coherence associated with the attended stimulus; and (2) domain-independent transient signals in posterior parietal and superior prefrontal cortex that reflect the voluntary initiation of new attentive states. Our more recent experiments suggest that the same circuit responsible for the control of attention in multiple domains is also responsible for other acts of cognitive control during task switching (e.g., between a digit categorization task) and manual response preparation. These results can be understood as revealing aspects of a general-purpose suite of cognitive control mechanisms for maintaining and reconfiguring task sets.