[CaBSSem] Cognition and Brain Sciences Seminar: Fri Sep 29 @3pm, Tarek Amer

Jordana Wynn jordwynn at uvic.ca
Tue Sep 26 14:40:43 PDT 2023

The Cognition and Brain Science Seminar (CaBSSem) next meets this Friday at 3:00 in the Psychology Reading Room (Cornett A228) featuring Dr. Tarek Amer (UVic) speaking on "An eyetracking investigation of task demand effects on pattern separation" (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://www.wynnlab.org/cabssem

Hope to see you Friday!

An eye-tracking investigation of task demand effects on pattern separation

Pattern separation, the mechanism by which overlapping stimuli or memories are
orthogonalized, has traditionally been studied within the context of hippocampal function. A
related line of work suggests that regions across the brain, including those implicated in
cognitive control, perform a similar (interference resolution) function. In this talk, I will present
data from a new study in which we used eye movement monitoring to investigate whether
these two functions are related. Specifically, we examined whether manipulating task demands
(as a means to manipulate cognitive control) impacts the extent of pattern separation, as
indexed by eye movements. Participants performed an indoor/outdoor judgment task on
similar items from two object categories and were instructed to disproportionately attend to
one of the categories (“relevant” category) through a secondary task. Similarity of gaze patterns
to objects within the relevant and irrelevant categories was used to index pattern separation.
Results showed that gaze similarity was decreased for the relevant, relative to the irrelevant,
category (i.e., increased attention to distinct features), reflecting greater pattern separation.
Additionally, the attentional demands impacted performance for the different categories on a
subsequent memory task. Together these results illustrate that cognitive control processes can
manipulate the level to which pattern separation occurs.

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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