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Nilli Lavie

Attention and Cognitive control

My research group focuses on the psychological and neural mechanisms of attention and distraction, cognitive control, visual awareness, working memory and emotion. We have a special focus on investigating information processing capacity and the effects of different types of information load on brain activity, cognitive function and task performance, neural correlates of awareness, executive frontal control of attention emotion and behavior. We also study individual differences in attention abilities. To study these issues we use behavioral experiments and visual psychophysics combined with functional MRI and transcranial magnetic stimulation all in human subjects.


PhD projects are developed together with the individual student in any area of our research interests. Examples of current projects in the lab include:
1) The role of attention in conscious and unconscious processing
2) Frontal “executive” control of attention and goal-driven processing in visual cortex.
3) Individual differences in distractibility, working memory capacity, and susceptibility to “inattentional blindness”
4) The interaction of short term memory and perception.
5) Consciousness of emotion
6) The neural correlates of visual awareness
7) Effects of addiction (e.g. alcoholism) on attention and awareness


Muggleton, N. Lamb, R., Walsh, V. & Lavie, N.  (2008)
Perceptual load modulates visual cortex excitability to magnetic stimulation.
Journal of Neurophysiology,100 (1), 516-519

Beck , D. M. Rees, G. Frith, C. D. & Lavie, N. (2001)
Neural correlates of change awareness and change blindness.
Nature Neuroscience 4 (6) 645-650

De Fockert J. W., Rees, G., Frith, C. D. & Lavie, N. (2000)
The role of working memory in visual selective attention.
Science, 291 (5509), 1803-1806


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