QBI researcher Dr Margaret Moore discusses the fascinating and dynamic process of paying attention. Amidst the sensory overload around us, the brain takes as many shortcuts as possible to process information. To save energy, the brain efficiently chooses to process only what it expects is most helpful, most relevant, and most important to us. It also relies on predictions of what it expects to see, based on past experiences. When this expectation differs from what we actually see, a prediction error occurs, and the brain builds a new model of reality.

In this conversation, Margaret explores:  

  • The process of paying attention
  • Predictive attention and why the brain needs to take short cuts to save energy
  • How we perceive differences in what we expect to see and what we actually see
  • Her past research on visual spatial neglect in stroke patients
  • Her current research on healthy brains to understand what is happening in the brain when we pay attention
  • The need to approach our understanding of the brain from both a clinical and neuroscience perspective 

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Related papers and resources

Global effects of feature-based attention depend on surprise

Evidence accumulation during perceptual decision-making is sensitive to the dynamics of attentional selection

The neuroanatomy of visuospatial neglect: A systematic review and analysis of lesion-mapping methodology


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