Optimal human behavior in many life-critical tasks requires prioritizing, attending, encoding, and remembering relevant information while ignoring other distracting sources of information. Prioritization affects the neural coding of information and consequently performance on attention, memory, and decision-making tasks. The fundamental goal of this project is to understand optimal human performance via the neurobiological mechanisms that mediate the interaction between global behavioral states and the neural mechanisms that mediate cognitive priority control. This project has four objectives:
Test the specificity of global states on the neural mechanisms of cognitive priority control.
Identify the neurobiological and physiological mechanisms that mediate the effects of global states on cognitive priority control.
Develop a comprehensive taxonomy of global states that is based on known neurophysiological and neuromodulatory mechanisms.
Engage in efforts to generalize the findings of 1-3 to tasks outside the lab.