ADAMSlab is focused on understanding the neural mechanisms of attention dynamics and memory systems. One essential challenge faced by the brain is a fundamental limitation on the amount of information that can be accessed, processed, stored or recalled from moment to moment. To address this challenge, humans and animals have evolved abilities to prioritize which pieces of information are processed based on context and goals. Disruptions of this crucial ability are implicated in nearly every neurological disease and disorder; frankly, everybody often wishes for an improved ability to handle the information needed to successfully navigate our complex daily lives.
We use electrophysiological methods (EEG, neural population recordings, electrical stimulation) and computational models to investigate the mechanisms of attention and memory and potential avenues for intervention. We employ approaches that measure neural activity across a wide range of scales, from the micrometer scale (neuronal population recordings) to the centimeter scale (scalp-recorded EEG).
Understanding how the brain operates across these scales simultaneously is a central challenge of contemporary neuroscience. Therefore, another pillar of our research program is to improve our basic understanding of how EEG signals and population spiking activity are related to each other. This is important not only for understanding attention and memory (in which disparate brain areas interact to control the information processing of small populations of neurons), but also for understanding other cognitive functions involving interactions across scales, such as learning, language, and decision-making.
These images are not blurry photographs, they were created by an artificial neural network to match natural image statistics! We use images such as these to study how the brain processes complex visual feature information.