The research in the Cognition and Plasticity laboratory focuses on how the brain pays attention and ways to enhance attention. Attention, the ability to selective focus on some aspects of the environment, is critical for performance in many situations, from paying attention in the classroom, to remembering important information, to safely driving a car.
Attention not only helps us focus on important information, but also provides a foundation for all other cognitive functions; it plays a crucial role in selecting information for maintenance in memory, and provides an important gateway to consciousness.
The research comprises two related lines of research. The first focuses on the neural mechanisms underlying attention and the relationship between attention and related cognitive functions. The second major line of research concerns the extent to which the ability to pay attention can be improved by training attention (through meditation) or using electrical brain stimulation. The overall aim is to better understand the (brain) processes that allow people to excel at certain behaviors, and how these processes can be facilitated. Our broad methodological repertoire includes EEG, fMRI, tDCS and behavioral testing.