Seminars 2017-2018

The Effects of Prior Familiarity on Working Memory Representations and Processes
September 22, 2017

Date: September 22, 2017 (Fri)
Time: 11:00-12:00
Venue: Rm 619, Sino Building
Speaker: Weiwei Zhang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Affiliation: University of California, Riverside
Title:

The Effects of Prior Familiarity on Working Memory Representations and Processes

  Prior stimulus familiarity can influence visual working memory (VWM) representations and processes in various ways based on some recent behavioral and Event‐Related Potential findings. First, VWM representations for familiar stimulus can be accessed faster than unfamiliar stimulus. Second, this speed advantage can also manifest to VWM consolidation in that familiar stimulus is encoded into VWM faster than unfamiliar stimulus. Third, faster VWM consolidation for familiar stimulus could in turn lead to increases in the amount of information retained in VWM when VWM consolidation is interrupted, but not when encoding time is sufficient. Consequently the presence and absence of the consolidation effect could potentially account for the mixed findings on the capacity effects of familiarity in the literature. These findings have illustrated various sources for the facilitation of working memory by familiarity and highlighted the pivotal roles of VWM processing in the interactions between prior knowledge and moment‐by‐moment memory processing.
About the Speaker:

Dr. Zhang received his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Iowa. He joined faculty at the Department of Psychology at University of California, Riverside in 2012. The research program in Dr. Zhang’s laboratory focuses on perception, memory, and higher cognition using multiple Cognitive Neuroscience methods, including eye tracking, EEG, non-invasive brain stimulation, and fMRI.

Causes, Consequences, and Neural Correlates of Visual Awareness
September 20, 2017

Date: September 20, 2017 (Mon)
Time: 12:00-13:00
Venue: Rm 619, Sino Building
Speaker: Po‐Jang Hsieh, PhD.
Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Duke‐NUS Medical School, Singapore
Title:

Causes, Consequences, and Neural Correlates of Visual Awareness

  How conscious experience is realized in neuronal activity is one major unsolved problem in neuroscience. Brain scientists have focused on finding neural correlates of consciousness for over two decades. Here I go beyond this correlational paradigm and use multivariate pattern analysis to investigate the causal relationship between cortical activity and visual awareness. First, I examined the neural consequences of consciousness by asking whether the pattern of neural activity in visual cortex can be altered by a change in the interpretation of a constant visual input. Second, I examined the neural causes of consciousness by asking whether the contents of visual awareness during binocular rivalry can be biased/predicted by the neural activation pattern that immediately precedes binocular stimulus presentation. My results show that the pattern of neural activity in visual cortex not only reflects changes of subjects’ conscious interpretation of the stimulus, but also predicts subjects’ subsequent perceptual states during binocular rivalry. These findings go beyond mere correlates of consciousness to reveal candidates areas that are causally involved in realizing conscious experience.
About the Speaker:

Dr. Po-Jang (Brown) Hsieh received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Dartmouth College, USA in 2008, and was a research scientist at MIT until 2011. He is now an assistant professor at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore. He is interested in understanding how the human brain is able to perceive and experience the world. He studies the human neural bases of perception, attention, and consciousness with EEG, functional brain imaging (fMRI), neural decoding methods, and psychophysical techniques.

Eye Movements in Reading:Perceptual Span and Parafoveal Processing
September 18, 2017

Date: September 18, 2017 (Mon)
Time: 12:00-13:00
Venue: Rm 109, Chen Kou Bun Building
Speaker: Ming Yan, PhD.
Research Scientist
Affiliation: University of Potsdam
Title:

Eye Movements in Reading:Perceptual Span and Parafoveal Processing

  It is well established that the number of times we look at words (and the durations associated with these fixations) are reliable and valid indicators of the orchestration of visual, attentional, languagerelated, memory‐related, and oculomotor processes which lead to the recognition of words and the comprehension of text. Importantly, reading involves effective extraction of information not only from currently fixated foveal words but also from upcoming parafoveal words. During a single fixation the effective field of vision is quite narrow. Comparisons across different writing systems and across different individuals will be presented, concluding that the perceptual span can be flexibly modulated by various factors. Reading also involves automatic activation of lexical representations from foveal and parafoveal words. Which aspects of these words (orthographic, phonological, morphological, semantic, etc.) become available at what time during processing is an area of much theoretical controversy. Much of the theoretical debate has been driven by languagecomparative research, especially between the reading of unspaced logographic scripts like Chinese and spaced alphabetic scripts like English or German. Studies on phonological and semantic processing of parafoveal words during the reading of English, Chinese, German and Korean sentences will be presented and discussed. In Chinese, very early semantic preview effects have been consistently demonstrated, whereas phonological preview may be less effective. These results are in nice agreement with the logographic nature of the Chinese writing system and provide support for eye‐movement models that adopt the guidance by attentional gradient assumption.
About the Speaker:

Dr. Yan received his Ph.D from the Beijing Normal University in 2008. He then works as a research scientist at the University of Potsdam, Germany. His research area is eye-movement control during reading, focusing on how reading varies across different writing systems (Simplified and Traditional Chinese, German, English, Uyghur, Finnish, Korean etc.) and across different individuals (normal adults, typically developing readers, second-language learners of Chinese, deaf readers and dyslexic readers). His main research topics include (a) the influence of high-level linguistic factors on saccade generation, (b) lexical processing from foveal and parafoveal words, (c) perceptual span in reading and (d) reading behaviors of unskilled readers and impaired readers.

New Methodologies for Assessing Emotional Intelligence using Technologies
September 5, 2017

Date: September 5, 2017 (Tue)
Time: 11:00-12:00
Venue: Rm 619, Sino Building
Speaker: Edgar Bresó, PhD.
Associate professor
Affiliation: Universitat Jaume I de Castellon
Title:

New Methodologies for Assessing Emotional Intelligence using Technologies

  The main purpose of this talk is to test discuss about past and current methods for assessing Emotional Intelligence. Additionally, The statistical validity of the “Mobile Emotional Intelligence Test" (MEITPRO) will be showed. That is a test for assessing Emotional Intelligence using Smartphones and tablets. Regarding to tat last issue, data from more than 1,000 individuals from 4 different countries (Spain, United States, Germany, and Italy) were collected and analyzed for testing the reliability and validity of the scales (i.e., perception, understanding, and management of emotions). Additionally, several improvements were carried out in comparison with the classical papel‐pencil surveys for assessing EI (i.e., timeresponse control, dynamic pictures, etc.). Results showed acceptable values of reliability for this newly developed scale. Thus, this talk will highlight the reliability of a “Mobile survey” for assessing Emotional Intelligence. Implications for research and practice were discussed.
About the Speaker:

PhD. in work psychology and associate professor at Universitat Jaume I de Castellon. He is director of the “Emotionally Intelligent Organization” Research team and lecturer in subjects related to Emotions recognition, Emotional Intelligence and Communication. His areas of interests are mainly related to the assessment of Emotional Intelligence.

On the other hand, he is also consultant in organizations for selection and assessment processes. He has participated in 13 research projects and currently is the head (principal researcher) of two projects about Emotional Intelligence and Well-being. He collaborated for a year in the “Health, Emotion and Behavior Laboratory” in Yale University (USA) by the supervision of Peter Salovey and Mark Brackett where he developed and applied programs for enhancing emotional competences among employees and leaders. Additionally, is the CEO of Emotional Apps (www.emotional-apps.com) a company that applies technology to transform the existing scientific knowledge into applications by providing solutions for companies and universities.

In the last years, professor Bresó has published articles and papers in conferences regarding to Emotional perception and he is the author of the Mobile Emotional Intelligence Test (MEITPRO) that is a web application for assessing Emotional Intelligence using Computers, Smartphones and Tablets.