[FieldTrip] PhD position at the Donders Institute on competition between internal and external attention states

Maris, E.G.G. (Eric) e.maris at donders.ru.nl
Wed Apr 18 13:39:45 CEST 2018

PhD position at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour:

Watch out! Competition between internal and external attention states in
brain and behavior
Supervisors: Eric Maris & Marius Peelen

Attention can be directed externally (to the outside world) or internally (to representations in the mind).
While this distinction features prominently in current models of attention, there are surprisingly few
empirical studies directly investigating this distinction. This project provides a comprehensive
investigation of the external-internal attention distinction, its neurophysiological characteristics, and its
relation to behavior. Using advanced analysis of both ongoing and evoked EEG/MEG data we will
classify spontaneous brain states as corresponding to external versus internal attention states. We
will link these brain states to perceptual performance in naturalistic object recognition tasks, testing
the hypothesis that an external attention state leads to better perceptual performance. In addition, we
will induce attention states by having participants perform externally and internally directed tasks.
Finally, we will test the hypothesis that shifting gaze, even in complete darkness, directs attention
externally, leading to better perceptual performance. Results of these studies will: (1) provide
empirical evidence for the proposed distinction between external and internal attention, (2) provide a
neurophysiological characterization of these attention states, and (3) shed light on the feasibility to
improve perceptual performance by biasing attention towards the external state.

Contact: e.maris at donders.ru.nl<mailto:e.maris at donders.ru.nl> or m.peelen at donders.ru.nl<mailto:m.peelen at donders.ru.nl>

Eric Maris | Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour & Faculty of Social Sciences | Radboud University | PO Box 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen | (024) 3612651 | www.ru.nl<http://www.ru.nl>

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