Researchers in the IDEA laboratory investigate attention and executive function and the ways in which these processes interact in the working memory system to influence higher-order cognitive abilities like learning and decision-making. Thus, we examine individual and group differences in the skills of attention, planning, and uncertainty monitoring to identify the relation between these mental abilities and the types of training that might improve them. Cross-species research is also ongoing to explore the emergence of executive attention in nonhuman primates.
The IDEA laboratory is fully equipped with computers for automated testing of participants, eye-trackers/ pupillometers, psychophysiological instruments, and computer-interfaced response boxes for recording vocal and motor response latencies. Transcranial Doppler sonography apparatus is also available for relating behavior to brain using measures of cerebral blood flow using this noninvasive imaging technology. Student research opportunities include computerized testing of human and nonhuman primate participants in attention and decision-making experiments.
This research may be supported by grants or contracts from the National Institutes of Health, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Georgia State University, and other foundations or agencies.