Are you paying attention? Next ‘Dixie Forum’ lecture aims to find out

Photo by VLADGRIN/Getty Images; St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The ability to see, remember and perform is influenced by the ability to pay attention, and Dr. David C. Somers will discuss why this is the case at the next Tuesday installment of Dixie State University’s lecture series “Dixie Forum” in the Dunford Auditorium of the Browning Resource Center. 

In his presentation “Attention Networks of the Human Brain,” Somers will discuss the capabilities and limitations of human visual attention and how it impacts visual perception, working memory and cognition. The lecture is set to take place from noon to 12:50 p.m. Admission is free, and the public is encouraged to attend.

As the chair of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Boston University, Somers uses functional magnetic resonance imaging –  or fMRI – behavioral studies and computational approaches to examine the interactions between attention, perception and working memory.

By using fMRI, Somers’s laboratory researches the mechanisms used by the human brain to direct one’s attention. Recently, his laboratory identified new attention networks in the brain. These discoveries aid in understanding how long-term memories can guide one’s attention in familiar environments and how spatial and temporal information is encoded.

Somers earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, and a doctorate in cognitive and neural systems from Boston University. He was a post-doctoral researcher in Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts General Hospital. Now the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation support his research and laboratory.

About the “Dixie Forum” series

“Dixie Forum” is a weekly lecture series designed to introduce the St. George community and Dixie State University students, faculty and staff to diverse ideas and personalities while widening their worldviews via a 50-minute presentation.

Dixie Forum will continue at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 4, in the Dunford Auditorium, when Dr. Daniel Russell, senior research scientist for search quality and user happiness at Google, presents “The Future of Asking (and Answering) Questions: How Technology Changes the Way We Think.”

For more information on Dixie State University’s Dixie Forum series, please contact DSU Forum Coordinator John Burns at 435-879-4712 or burns@dixie.edu or visit the forum online

Event details

  • What: Dixie Forum “Attention Networks of the Human Brain” with Dr. David C. Somers.
  • When: Tuesday, Sept. 27, noon-12:50 p.m.
  • Dunford Auditorium of the Browning Resource Center, 225 S. 700 East, St. George.
  • Admission: Free to the public

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1 Comment

  • .... September 27, 2016 at 12:00 am

    Uhhhh. attention to what ?

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