The role of attention in predictive visual motion processing

4 minute read

computer generated image of human neural network

Does focusing our attention on a moving object help our brains better predict its trajectory and movement? This research project aims to discover the answer.

The goals of this research project are to:

  1. Investigate the relationship between visual attention and predictive mechanisms in the human visual cortex
  2. Determine whether attention is necessary for prediction
  3. Determine the level of processing attention needed to bring about predictive visual motion processing.

The details

There is a delay when our brain processes visual information due to the time it takes for the information to travel across our neural networks. This poses a challenge when our brains try to determine the location of a moving object (visual localisation). One way the brain might compensate for such delays is by predicting where the moving object will end up. However, there is still much we don't know about our brain's ability to predict movement.

This project combines psychophysics, time-resolved EEG decoding, and functional MRI approaches to study predictive mechanisms in the human visual cortex. Specifically, it investigates how visual attention might interact with such mechanisms. This will allow us to determine whether attention is necessary for prediction, and at what levels of processing attention might bring about predictive visual motion processing.

Graduate researcher profile: Jane Yook

Picture of Jane Yook

I have always been fascinated by the complexity of the brain as an undergraduate — after completing my BA degree in Psychology at the University of Melbourne and honours degree at the Australian National University, I joined Stefan and Hinze’s labs as a research assistant. During my time in the Decision Neuroscience Lab and the Time in Brain and Behavior Lab, I enjoyed uncovering important questions about our everyday experiences, such as interacting with our dynamic environments, with elegant EEG experiments, and ultimately I was able to foster this interest into a PhD!

Supervision team

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