• Image of Team Pay Attention
  • Image of Team Pay Attention
  • Image of Team Pay Attention

Rebecca Lawrence
ANU Research School of Psychology

Rebecca wants to know what is happening in your brain when you are paying attention to something. Past researchers have looked at how focusing your attention on a small area, or spreading your attention broadly impact vision. Rebecca is specifically looking at different factors which influence your processing of fine spatial detail (e.g. words), and temporal detail (e.g. time). To do this she uses different methods to get people’s attention, measures behaviour, and then relates this to the operation of two different known cell types in the brain. Parvocellular neurons are thought to be associated with the processing of fine spatial detail, and magnocellular neurons with the processing of fine temporal detail.


Asavari Deonath
ANU School of Art and Design

Asavari interpreted the functions of the two types of cells and placed them on either side of the eye, as they fire when you see things. Parvocellular neurons are better at processing colour and sharp details in images, and are represented by the tree and leaf. On the other hand, magnocellular neurons are better at processing the gist of objects, and are good at sensing the timing of things, so are represented by the clock. The small and larger circles represent whether you focus attention in, or spread your attention broadly.

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This research is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.

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