Colloquium: Dissociating current from future templates in visual attention


16.00 - 17.00

Hoofdgebouw VU, 7A32

Colloquium: Dissociating current from future templates in visual attention

Prof. dr. Christian Olivers

Faculteit der Gedrags- en Bewegingswetenschappen



Visual attention is driven by top-down control processes reflecting the current goals of the observer. Working memory has been regarded as the mechanism by which such top-down control is implemented, through the activation and maintenance of task-relevant perceptual representations, which are then thought to automatically bias sensory input. However, while working memory can be used to bias the current perceptual task, it should also serve future tasks, when planning sequences of perceptual actions. Such prospective memories ought to be shielded from, rather than influence the current perceptual input.  I will present behavioural, electrophysiological and neuroimaging work using paradigms in which observers perform sequences of visual search tasks that allowed us to dissociate templates serving current from those serving future goals in working memory. Behavioural and neurophysiological measures  show that working memory distinguishes between what is relevant now and what is relevant in the future, with different consequences for attention and the representations it relies on.

Chris OliversChris Olivers is Professor of Visual Cognition. His research focuses on top-down influences on visual attention, from short term goals to long term knowledge, and from sensory to multi-modal representations. His lab uses a range of approaches, notably manual and oculomotor behaviour, electroencephalographic and functional magnetic resonance measures, and computational modeling.


This colloquium is organized by the department of Human Movement Sciences in collaboration with the research institute Amsterdam Movement Sciences and iBBA.