Barbara A. Dosher

University of California, Irvine


Election Year: 2011
Primary Section: 52, Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

As a cognitive scientist, I study how the human mind takes in, works through, and holds onto visual information. I am particularly interested in how we get better at perceiving things.  By modulating visual attention our mind can both filter and select parts of complex scenes for further visual processing and memory. My laboratory uses a combination of adaptive behavioral testing, noise tests adapted from engineering, and computational models of human information processing to develop signature behavioral tests for cognitive mechanisms. We then compare these mechanisms to known properties of neurophysiology. Mapping out how attention works in normal adults then helps us understand how attention may fail. Other recent work uses efficient adaptive testing and quantitative models of visual system and learning to study the ways that training or practice on visual tasks, such as the extensive training of early reading, may develop perceptual expertise. By developing models of how we learn, we hope to help design better protocols for training and remediation. Other work has developed behavioral tests and models for how the brain transfers visual information to working memory, the precision of those memories, and the speed and accuracy of memory retrieval.

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