Alpha, Beta, Blink: Synchronicity between brain oscillations and the attentional blink

We are constantly bombarded with a lot more information than we can process at once. We use our attentional abilities to filter out unwanted information and to focus on those things that appear particularly relevant—for example, right now I am trying to ignore all the buzz around me in a Star Alliance lounge at Heathrow […]

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Finding the Waldolance among sedans: Verbal cues can guide search for societally important vehicles

Quick! Find the image on the left among the images on the right in the figure below. This basic task—visual search—has been a staple of the vision scientist’s toolkit for decades. Even if one has no interest in visual search itself, the basic paradigm of searching for a target among an array of images is […]

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Vladimir Putin and the empty chair: Can people spot #Fakepictures?

Hamburg, Germany, July 2017. The leaders of the 20 most powerful countries in the world gather at the G20 summit to discuss the issues facing our global society. The meeting was hosted by Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, and among the guests were President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The New Statesman reported the excitement […]

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You heard that right: accent judgment but not accent perception is influenced by expectations

Everyone “has an accent”—even if you think you don’t. Most likely, your accent is influenced by both your cultural identity, socioeconomic status, and other social processes, as well as more cognitive processes like emulating another person’s style in a conversation. Accents are such a strong indicator of social factors that they get associated to stereotypes, […]

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When your own mother might be an invisible gorilla: long-term memory and change blindness

Cognition is so interesting that we might never realize it. Most of the time we don’t think about our cognition, although we are constantly thinking, seeing, attending, memorizing, and deciding during our waking hours. When teaching my first-year student “Intro to Cognitive Psychology”, the greatest joy for me stems from seeing their faces when they […]

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2 eyes, 4 targets, and 8 moving disks: Lagging gazes in object tracking

We keep track of multiple objects every day. When we drive, we need to keep track of the cyclist near the curb, the dump truck bearing down on us from behind, and the lost tourist in front of us who is signaling turns at random. When we are on the beach on a family outing, […]

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The hazard (functions) of detecting the pounce on the prey

How many things can we attend to simultaneously? Imagine being an air traffic controller and you are monitoring O’Hare arrivals on the day before Thanksgiving. How many aircraft can you attend to simultaneously? Or imagine watching a flock of grazing impalas in Krueger National Park or the Serengeti while a pride of lions is casually […]

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Fortifying memory after encoding: Internal and external attention and visual short-term memory

You are in the cognitive laboratory and you focus on the screen in front of you. A few color patches are flashed for 1/10th of a second, and 2 seconds later another array of patches appears that stays on the screen until you respond. Your task is to decide whether any one of the patches […]

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