Part of the School Seminar Series
Speaker: Dr Duncan Astle, MRC Cambridge
In recent years research on attention and memory, both in the cognition and neuroscience literatures, has seen a rapid advancement in our understanding of their common and separate mechanisms in adulthood. This is partly due to some very elegant cognitive science; new and novel paradigms have enabled researchers to explore with much greater precision the mechanisms that underlie these processes. Furthermore, researchers in the adult neuroscience literature have developed a wide repertoire of techniques enabling them to explore how the neural systems responsible for attentional control interact with memory representations, during maintenance and at retrieval.
In this talk I will discuss how we are adapting these techniques and approaches for explaining memory performance during development, and, in particular, to explain variability in memory performance in childhood. This includes work using behavioural techniques, such as cueing studies, to demonstrate the role of spatial attention in memory maintenance. The work also includes electrophysiological scalp recordings, demonstrating the role of attention in memory retrieval. Finally I will discuss our work utilizing magnetoencephalography, exploring the neural networks that underpin the interaction between attentional control and memory in childhood, and how these more advanced neuroimaging techniques enable us to implicate the role of attentional control mechanisms in memory performance more directly.