Bruce Milliken
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PC 414
(905) 525-9140
(905) 529-6225
The aim of research conducted in our laboratory is to better understand processes that comprise the interface between perception and cognition in humans. Although these two subjects are often taught separately at the undergraduate level, even the simplest of interactions with our environment involve what must be a complex interplay between low level perceptual and higher level cognitive processes. In particular, visual selective attention is the focus of much of the research conducted in our lab. This work looks at how selection of visual information can be both under the control of the observer, and yet also modulated implicitly by past experience. This fundamental theoretical issue plays itself out across a wide range of experimental scenarios. Currently, we are using several attentional paradigms (e.g. negative priming, inhibition of return) to help us identify mechanisms that allow us to respond preferentially to familiar over novel visual stimuli in some situations, but to novel over familiar visual stimuli in others.
Attention and visual perception
What pre-requisites do you look for when evaluating a potential thesis student?

Students interested in doing an honours thesis in my lab must have taken Psych 2H03, at a minimum. It's helpful if they've also taken Psych 3VV3, and ideal if they've also taken the lab course I offer in Human Memory and Cognition (Psych 3V03). Of course, I'm looking for students with a strong interest in human cognition, and in particular an interest in the topics of attention, memory, and cognitive control.

What information are you going to want from a student who is interested in working in your lab?

I'll want to look at a transcript, and it helps to have students e-mail me with a brief description of their research interests and long-term goals.

Please email me. Please include "! Thesis request" or "Independent study request" in the subject line of your email, as appropriate.

E-mail contact is preferred, after which we may set up an individual appointment to talk further.

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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | PNB