Whether listening to a lecture in a crowded classroom or driving a car down a busy street, the ability to selectively pay attention to important info while tuning out distractions is critical to success and survival. Cognitive scientists from UCSD and UCI are working to better understand how the brain accomplishes this feat. Using EEG and a series of visual tests, they’re able to measure changes in neural activity when attention is paid to a particular item, findings which could help in developing more accurate benchmarks in evaluating vision and attention disorders. Ramesh Srinivasan, UCI cognitive sciences professor and department chair, is the lead Irvine researcher on the project with John Serences, associate professor, heading the UCSD team. Funding for their work began in September 2014 and will run through August 2016.

 

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