- Attention Group (Dr. Mark Stokes) Research Group
- Oxford Cognitive Neuropsychology Centre Research Group
- Cognitive Neurology Research Group (Prof. Masud Husain) Research Group
Oxford Cognitive Neuropsychology Centre - OCNC (Husain)
- Early Stage Research Fellow
Trying to understand attention and working memory through computational modelling of behaviour and EEG (and investigating sports on the weekends).
My research focusses on (in)attention: how it works, how it relates to working memory, and how we can treat patients who suffer from attentional disorders.
I am particularly interested in working memory encoding, and use computational models and EEG (electroencephalography) to investigate its dynamics.
Attention is a versatile topic, and my interests are broad. With collaborators, I test neuropharmacological treatments that could improve spatial attention, which I investigate with pupillometry and visual search. In addition, I work on how attention is biased by threatening information, and the role of threat avoidance in anxiety therapy. In my spare time, I investigate temporal attention in racing sports, and how it can bias Olympic competitions.
As a part of my research, I develop software with many different applications. One example is PyGaze, a Python toolbox for quick and easy programming of eye-tracking experiments that supports a broad range of tracker types. Another example is CancellationTools, an application that allows researchers and clinicians to administer computerised cancellation tests, and to analyse their results with the click of a button. It calculates indices of attentional biases, executive functioning, search organisation, and working memory, and it produces helpful data visualisations.
Distracted by danger: Temporal and spatial dynamics of visual selection in the presence of threat.
Mulckhuyse M. and Dalmaijer ES., (2016), Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci, 16, 315 - 324
Life is unfair, and so are racing sports: some athletes can randomly benefit from alerting effects due to inconsistent starting procedures.
Dalmaijer ES. et al, (2015), Front Psychol, 6
CancellationTools: All-in-one software for administration and analysis of cancellation tasks.
Dalmaijer ES. et al, (2015), Behav Res Methods, 47, 1065 - 1075
PyGaze: an open-source, cross-platform toolbox for minimal-effort programming of eyetracking experiments.
Dalmaijer ES. et al, (2014), Behav Res Methods, 46, 913 - 921
The pupillary light response reflects exogenous attention and inhibition of return.
Mathôt S. et al, (2014), J Vis, 14
Eye Tracking Demo
This video demonstrates the process of pupil tracking, which is often employed to measure pupil size, but also to infer where someone is looking. The basis of the technique is simple: we try to locate and find a very dark part of the image (in this case indicated by the researcher, who clicks on a pupil in the interface). More elaborate software based on the same principle can be used to test spatial attention (where are you looking at?) and pupil responses (which are thought to reflect certain cognitive and emotional processes).