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External Seminar: Flexibility in the control of visual attention

Tuesday 22 October 2019, 4.00PM to 5.00pm

Speaker(s): Dr Nancy Carlisle, Lehigh University (USA)

When we know the features of our visual target, we can use this information to guide attention toward objects in the visual field that match this attentional template.  But can we also use known distractor features to avoid attending to items that will harm our performance, creating a negative attentional template? In this talk, I will walk through recent work from my lab examining negative attentional templates. We have used behavior and EEG to look at the effects of negative templates on visual attention. Overall, we find evidence that negative templates can be used to guide attention away from known distractors, helping individuals find targets. This work supports an extreme flexibility within the control of visual attention, and opens up intriguing questions about how we are able to use top-down attentional control to suppress items.

Location: PS/B020