I study the cognitive shortcuts that the human brain takes in order to perform feats of perception, attention, and memory. I’m particularly interested in predictability, and in the specializations of different sensory modalities.
Different senses are not only specialized to detect environmental energy; the neural machinery that supports vision and audition is also specialized to perform certain kinds of computations. Visual input is intrinsically spatial, and vision has an affinity for spatial information; auditory input is one-dimensional over time, and audition has a corresponding affinity for temporal information. I perform behavioral experiments testing whether and how these affinities interact in working memory, and fMRI experiments investigating how sensory-biased cortical areas may be recruited for specific tasks.
Modality-related publications and current projects
- Noyce, A. L., Cestero, N., Michalka, S. W., Shinn-Cunningham, B. G., & Somers, D. C. (2017). Sensory-biased and multiple-demand processing in human lateral frontal cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 37, 8755-8766.
- Noyce, A. L., Cestero, N., Shinn-Cunningham, B. G., & Somers, D. C. (2016). Short-term memory stores are organized by information domain. Attention, Perception, & Psychophsyics, 78, 960-970.
- Lynch, J.L., Shinn-Cunningham, B. G., Somers, D. C., & Noyce, A. L. (in prep). Work- ing memory capacity estimates are better predicted by task domain than by sensory modality.
The human brain often works in a predictive, feedforward manner, recognizing a familiar context and anticipating upcoming events. I’m interested in how this learning happens (including what it means to “recognize a familiar context”), how anticipation supports cognition, and what happens when a novel, unexpected event occurs instead. I use behavioral studies and EEG/ERP techniques to determine the neural mechanisms that reflect this learning and expectation, and those that respond to deviant or unexpected events.
Prediction-related publications and current projects
- Noyce, A. & Sekuler, R. (2014). Oddball distractors demand attention: Neural and behavioral responses to predictability in the flanker task. Neuropsychologia, 65, 18–24.
- Maryott, J., Noyce, A., & Sekuler, R. (2011). Eye movements and imitation learning: Intentional disruption of expectation. Journal of Vision, 11(1:7), 1–16.
*authors contributed equally
- Noyce, A. & Sekuler, R. (in preparation). Dynamic reallocation of VSTM resources.