The pupillary light response has been shown not to be a purely reflexive mechanism, but to be sensitive to higher order perceptual processes, such as covert visual attention. In a new study we examined whether the pupillary light response is modulated by stimuli which are not physically present, but maintained in visual working memory.
Researchers from CNRS / Aix-Marseille University (France) and Utrecht University (Netherlands) have developed a way to—literally—write text by thinking of letters. In this technique, several letters are presented on a computer screen. The color of these letters continuously changes from white to black and back again, in different patterns.
Visual input that signals threat is inherently relevant to behavior. Accordingly, it has been demonstrated that threatening stimuli elicit faster behavioral responses than non-threatening stimuli. Considering that awareness is a prerequisite for performing demanding tasks and guiding novel behavior, visual input can be more adequately acted upon once it reaches awareness.
Jaarlijks kiest De Jonge Akademie tien nieuwe, talentvolle onderzoekers om haar gelederen te versterken. De Jonge Akademie is binnen de KNAW een zelfstandig platform van jonge topwetenschappers, met activiteiten op het gebied van interdisciplinariteit, wetenschapsbeleid, wetenschap en samenleving, en internationalisering.
As part of an ORA-grant with Daniel Smith from Durham University and Thomas Schenk from Ludwig Maximilians University, Stefan received €300.000 for a project investigating the link between attention and motor control.
Many studies have found a strong coupling between selective attention and eye movements. While it has already been shown that the attentional shift is not directly coupled to the final stages of motor execution, it is currently unknown to what aspect of the earlier stages of saccade preparation the attentional shift is coupled.
Champion sprinter Linford Christie once said that he started races ‘on the B of the bang’, but research from Oxford and Utrecht universities says the pause before the bang could also make the difference between success and failure. Their results are published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.
The localization of multisensory information is generally faster than that of unisensory information when the unimodal components of a multisensory stimulus are spatially and temporally aligned. Two processes that can cause multisensory response enhancement are multisensory integration and crossmodal exogenous spatial attention.
Korsakoff’s syndrome is a severe neuropsychiatric syndrome that affects memory and executive functions after chronic alcoholism and vitamine B1 deficiency. Erik, together with Stefan, Tanja Nijboer, Jan Wijnia and Albert Postma published a review on procedural learning and memory rehabilitation in the June issue of Neuropsychology Review.
Together with Sebastiaan Mathot, Stefan has published a review on the pupil in Current Directions in Psychological Science. In this review, they argue that the pupillary light response depends not only on a stimulus’ brightness, but also on whether you are aware of the stimulus, whether you are paying attention to it, and even whether you are thinking about it
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