Attention in Action: Advances from Cognitive Neuroscience (Advances in Behavioural Brain Science)

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The researchers found that 30 hours of playing improved this capacity. The assessment consisted of asking participants a number of times whether a group of four to six colored squares was identical to another group, presented two minutes earlier. Once again, however, this situation is far from real life. This issue of skill transfer is also a major challenge for the brain-training industry, which has been growing since the s. These companies are generally very good at promoting themselves and assert that engaging in various exercises and computer games for a few minutes a day can improve memory, attention span and reaction time.

Posit Science, which offers the BrainHQ series of brain training and assessment, is one such company. In one version of a UFOV-based game, a car and a road sign appear on a screen. Then another car appears. The player clicks on the original car and also clicks on where the road sign appeared.

By having groups of objects scroll faster and faster, the activity is supposed to improve reaction time. But in a analysis of research on brain-training programs, Simons and his colleagues are far less laudatory. The paper, which includes an in-depth analysis of the ACTIVE study, says that the overall risk of having an accident—the most relevant criterion—decreased very little. Several reviews of the scientific literature come to much the same conclusion: brain-training products enhance performance on tasks that are trained directly, but the transfer is often weak.

In addition to attention and memory exercises, this game has a player do calculations. Does the program improve overall arithmetic skills?

Attention in Action: Advances from Cognitive Neuroscience - CRC Press Book

A year earlier, though, Scottish psychologists David Miller and Derek Robertson found that the game did increase how fast children could calculate. Overall then, the results from studies are mixed. The benefits need to be evaluated better, and many questions need answering, such as how long an intervention should last and at what ages might it be effective.

The answers may depend on the specific interventions being considered. Indeed, the measured benefits are much weaker and ephemeral than the benefits obtained through traditional techniques. Unlike brain-training games, this kind of approach involves taking some initiative and makes you think about what you know.

Exercising our cognitive capacities is important to combating another modern hazard: the proliferation of fake news on social networks. In the same way that digital devices accentuate our tendency to become distracted, fake news exploits our natural inclination to believe what suits us. The solution to both challenges is education: more than ever, young people must be taught to develop their concentration, self-control and critical-thinking skills. John Dunlosky et al.

Daniel J. Simons et al. Bediou et al.

You have free article s left. Already a subscriber? Sign in. See Subscription Options. Research shows that by constantly distracting us , the Internet affects cognitive performance but does not radically alter our brains. The findings also suggest that although video games and brain training influence aggression and cognitive performance, respectively, the extent of that influence is much less than many would think.


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The risks of digital devices might be minimized by educating people in ways to enhance concentration, self-control and critical-thinking skills. Evidence for Aggression What about the charge that video games increase aggression? Gaming for Better Brains?

Get smart. Faces convey a wealth of information that guides our social interactions. This fluency is remarkable given the difficulty of the discriminations required. We are studying the perceptual, cognitive and evolutionary mechanisms underlying this face processing expertise. Professor Gillian Rhodes. Dr Kate Crookes. Dr Linda Jeffery. Dr Clare Sutherland.

Libby Taylor. Vision has a central role in our relationship with the world and the way we see determines how we are able to interact with the environment. The focus of our research is on human visual performance and has concentrated on the processes involved in extracting motion, pattern and position information. Professor David Badcock. Dr James Dickinson. Research in the Memory and Cognition Laboratory investigates human memory and reasoning, using mainly behavioural experimentation and computational modelling.

We study typically developing children and how their intellectual abilities change we also have a parallel interest in how these abilities change with advanced ageing and how these abilities are related to their emotional development e. Our empirical investigations involve behavioural assessments of cognitive abilities and utilise techniques from experimental psychology and standard methods of cognitive neuropsychology.

Because we are interested in how the brain influences development, we also use modern neuroscientific measurement techniques — principally EEG and MRI — as well as trying to develop more cutting-edge approaches such as functional near-infrared spectroscopy fNIRS. We have a diversity of interests and approaches but with one central goal: To develop theories of the neurocognitive basis of typical and atypical development through the scientific investigation of developmental change in cognitive, emotional and social abilities and their differential manifestation in special populations.

The target of this empirical work is to develop a theory of the neurocognitive architecture of the developing mind. We also take the approach that we should formalise and test our theories using computational modelling. It is in this general context that we examine atypical development children with autism, children with ADHD, children born extremely prematurely, children with early onset type-I diabetes so that we can better understand the nature of these conditions and they can inform our theories.

Finally, we are not naive about the impact that cultural forces can have on neurocognitive development, and with this in mind and given our own cultural context, we have a growing interest in examining development in Indigenous populations.

Johan J. Bolhuis

Our research aims to understand the perceptual, cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying person perception. This often involves studying faces, as they provide information about the identity, age, sex, race, attractiveness and mood of other people, but also involves studying the perception of bodies and voices.

In addition to our work with typically developing children and adults, our lab investigates person perception in children and adults with atypical development, psychopathology or brain injury. Interested in participating in research? Our current understanding of prosopagnosia is only limited, and further research is needed to clarify the nature of this rare condition.

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Joaquin Fuster

If you or any of your family members are experiencing face recognition difficulties, and if you're interested in participating in research, please register with us. Australian Prosopagnosia Register. For more information about prosopagnosia and our current research see below:. Research interests within the SNAP Lab involves three distinct arms — visual perception, clinical research and sensory neuroscience.

Current projects in each of these areas are described below.

Brain, Perception, Memory: Advances in Cognitive Neuroscience

Research in this area considers how the human visual system processes shapes and objects for recognition. Recognition is accomplished through the coordinated activation of distinct brain regions.

Projects seek to discover what information is represented at each stage of processing. Jason Bell is interested in studying abnormalities of perception within particular groups. Together with associate professors Elizabeth Rieger ANU and Dr Susan Byrne UWA , they are undertaking research to understand the relationship between biases in perception and or attention, and eating disorder symptomology, or obesity. Understanding functional specialisation in the brain is a fundamental goal of neuroscience and psychology.

Lecture 11: Visual Attention and Consciousness

The lab currently offers opportunities to study the effects of neurosynchronisation and of non-invasive cortical stimulation on perception and behaviour. Our brains can trick us into thinking we are thinner than we are. Researchers at The University of Western Australia have discovered that a psychological illusion could be making people think they are thinner than they actually are. A project that aims to help people worry about the right things is one of three new projects at The University of Western Australia to receive Federal Government funding.

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Find out more. At UWA, we study the ability to detect, attend to and recognise features in the environment, and seek to understand the underlying processes that serve those abilities. Our work looks at how people behave in a range of contexts, from simple decision tasks, to complex cognitive and social environments. We investigate questions via experiments, surveys and simulations, and apply rigorous behavioural analysis and mathematical modelling.

Industrial and organisational psychology and human factors at UWA examine the human element of work, aiming to improve safety, wellbeing and performance. Our clinical psychology and clinical neuropsychology researchers are exploring theories and interventions to improve quality of life by understanding the causes and consequences of brain and mental disorders. Winthrop Professor David Badcock is an expert in behavioural and cognitive neuroscience, focusing on visual processing and perception. Associate Professor Carmela Pestell is a clinician, researcher and lecturer in clinical psychology and neuropsychology, and Director of the Robin Winkler Clinic.

Professor Romola Bucks is Head of the School of Psychological Science and investigates cognitive disorders related to the process of ageing.

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