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How do I know what I see? #RushHourResearch

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University Of Birmingham School

12 Weoley Park Road

Birmingham

B29 6QU

United Kingdom

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Discussing various lines of research methods used to illustrate multiple brain mechanisms.

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"The brain has multiple mechanisms that work together seamlessly to provide us with an interrupted perception of the external world. These mechanisms include attention along with short and long-term memory. I will illustrate some of these mechanisms as I trace various lines of research in which I have been engaged for many years. The research methods I use extend from basic behavioural tasks that simply ask participants “What do you see” to modern neuroscience tools such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and transcranial brain stimulation, which enable us to interrogate the way the brain works to give rise to our perception." Professor Kimron Shapiro.

About Professor Kimron Shapiro

Kimron Shapiro received his BSc from the University of North Carolina, his MSc from Western Washington State University and his PhD from Dalhousie University (Canada). During his PhD he investigated biological constraints on learning using animal models but then transitioned into the study of human cognitive psychology during his postdoctoral years at the Pennsylvania State University.

In 1985 he accepted an Assistant Professor post at the University of Calgary (Canada) where he continued investigating how attention is distributed across visual space and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1989. In 1992 he began to study how attention is distributed across time, rather than space, developing the attentional blink (AB) paradigm in 1992 with his co-authors Raymond and Arnell. Their seminal report, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance has become a citation ‘classic’ and is one of the most cited papers in the same journal, having achieved nearly 3000 citations. In the same year Shapiro took a sabbatical jointly at the University of Cambridge and the Medical Research Council Applied Psychology Unit and published a landmark report in Nature co-authored with John Duncan, putting forward the ‘dwell-time’ theory of the attentional blink. Shapiro then moved to the University of Wales (Bangor, UK) in 1995 where he was appointed as a Reader and soon after acquired Professorship and a Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience. During this period of time he acquired skills in neuroimaging and electrophysiology and published two further influential papers on the attentional blink in the journal Nature.

Shapiro continued to research the attentional blink phenomenon using functional imaging, and magnetoencephalography in various collaborations with Joachim Gross and other colleagues, leading to an important paper published in 2004 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, laying the groundwork for an oscillatory account of the AB. In the ensuing years since the mid-1990’s has published over 40 articles on this same topic, collaborating with Pieter Roelfsema on a Human Frontiers of Science Programme grant and subsequently with Simon Hanslmayr on a chapter in Brain Research Reviews laying out an alpha-based oscillatory account of the AB. More recently, he has extended his interests to visual short-term memory and its relationship to attention. In 2012 Shapiro moved to the University of Birmingham, where he served as the Chair of Cognitive Neuroscience and Head of the School of Psychology until the end of 2018.

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University Of Birmingham School

12 Weoley Park Road

Birmingham

B29 6QU

United Kingdom

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