Nov. 15, 2010, Visual Processing—How We Sort It
Ignoring distracting information is critical for successful completion of everyday tasks, from operating heavy machinery to walking or driving. Assistant Professor Leber will use his nearly $300,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to research how the human eye achieves a balance between the voluntary and involuntary components of attention. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Leber will be able to track changes in neural activity and discover which brain regions determine voluntary or involuntary attention. Leber states that this work will contribute to a greater understanding of how the brain overcomes visual distraction to allow healthy visual processing. The work will contribute to efforts to better understand clinical disorders that have an attention-related component such as Alzheimer’s disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and schizophrenia.