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Visual attention in relation to learning and working memory


I will examine mechanisms of visual attention in relation to learning and working memory, in normal human adults and stroke patients with attentional deficits. The main goal is to study visual attention as a dynamic and plastic system rather that as a static mechanism, combining the psychophysical tests developed in my graduate work with the Cognitive Neuroscience methods available at the host institution (brain imaging, and the study of neurological patients). Only this interdisciplinary approach can allow the phenomena to be related to their neural bases. My psychophysical work at Harvard has revealed perceptual priming, spatial memory and rapid learning in attentional deployments. We will identify the neural correlates for these phenomena, their boundary conditions, and their role in attentional deficits following stroke. My Ph.D. work used only behavioral and psychophysical methods. The proposed studies rely on entirely different methodologies that will allow the neural bases of the phenomena to be identified. The Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in London is internationally recognized for its expertise and facilities in this field, and the proposed host is among the leaders in this area. Working in his group will provide me with training on the latest neuroimaging techniques, and neuropsychological methods. The project provides me with a unique opportunity to learn new methods in the investigation of visual attention and its neural correlates. These methods are at the cutting edge of current Cognitive Neuroscience, and should greatly further my research career.


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Queen Square 17
United Kingdom

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