Activities and Seminars

David Soto. Linking memory and attention in human vision
Date: Oct 31, 2014

What: Linking memory and attention in human vision

Where: BCBL auditorium

Who: David Soto, PhD; Senior Lecturer, Department of Medicine, Imperial College, London, UK.

When: 12 noon

I will talk about recent research showing interactions between the process of keeping information in working memory and the attention process that selects relevant information for action. I will show how human visual attention in health and disease can be automatically biased by stimuli matching the contents of working memory (i.e. visual, verbal and symbolic), even when these contents are detrimental to behavioural performance. I will present functional neuroimaging evidence which dissociates the neural mechanisms of attention driven by working memory contents from other forms of implicit memory guidance and, more generally, from the classic parietofrontal networks associated with task-based attentional control. In the second part of the talk I will present emerging evidence from my laboratory that conscious awareness is a dispensable feature of working memory guidance. I will present both behavioural and neural evidence showing that working memory guidance can operate in the absence of conscious access to the memory cues themselves. The work highlights the importance of investigating the interplay between distinct cognitive systems for understanding human behaviour.