[CaBSSem] Cognition and Brain Sciences Seminar: Fri Sep 15 @3pm, Jordana Wynn

Jordana Wynn jordwynn at uvic.ca
Mon Sep 11 11:35:02 PDT 2023

The Cognition and Brain Science Seminar (CaBSSem) next meets this Friday at 3:00 in the Psychology Reading Room (Cornett A228) featuring myself, Dr. Jordana Wynn (UVic) speaking on "Effects of prior knowledge on perceptual sensitivity in older adults" (abstract below).

Many attend FTF, but we also livestream sessions at


For students/faculty at UVic, best practice is to launch the Zoom app and then click "Sign in with SSO" so that you access the call from the UVic Zoom.

Schedule at <https://oac.uvic.ca/lindsaylab/open-science/> https://www.wynnlab.org/cabssem

Hope to see you Friday!

Effects of prior knowledge on perceptual sensitivity in older adults

Whereas traditional models of visual perception rely on a hierarchy of bottom-up feature processing, more recent predictive coding models suggest that early visual processing can be modulated by top-down knowledge. Specifically, when visual input is insufficient, expectations about the world, such as what items appear where, influence not only what we see but also how well we see. Research suggests that young adults can use predictive cues, including episodic memories (e.g., locations of targets in scenes) to enhance perceptual sensitivity by modulating covert attention. Older adults, on the other hand, have trouble exploiting these cues on tasks of visual attention and perception. The exception to this is tasks on which predictions can be made based on prior knowledge or semantics. Older adults’ over-reliance on prior knowledge has been linked to age-related changes in both attention and memory. Yet, the degree to which prior knowledge affects older adults’ visual perception is currently unknown. In this talk, I will present an experiment testing the prediction that older adults use prior knowledge to enhance sensory processing by sharpening visual feature detectors. Specifically, I predict that compared with young adults, older adults will show greater modulation of perceptual sensitivity by cues based on prior knowledge relative to visual cues.

Jordana Wynn, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
University of Victoria

Pronouns: She/ Her

I acknowledge and respect the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territory the university stands and the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.
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