GEOFF WOODMAN, Vanderbilt University
Title: Using electrophysiology to measure long-term memory and working memory as they control attention trial by trial
Ebbinghaus Empire Series 2017-2018
Abstract: Theories of attention propose that representations in working memory control the focusing of attention. However, our recent work using human event-related potentials (ERPs) and brain stimulation suggests that long-term memories may be the dominant force in controlling attention. Specifically, when a subject searches for the same object for several seconds, control is rapidly handed off to long-term memory. We find neural signatures of working memory are only observed for a handful of trials after we start searching for a new target, when we want to speed attentional selection on a given trial, or following a trial in which we make an error. Converging evidence using transcranial direct-current stimulation indicates that long-term memories can even have rapid effects on how attention is deployed, allowing us optimally focus attention within one trial. I will conclude by discussing our recent work with patients with schizophrenia that further implicates long-term memory as the source of cognitive deficits during attention-demanding tasks.
Watch video recording of Geoff Woodman talk at https://play.library.utoronto.ca/Rjn56KayO5ST
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