Young Investigator Award
Past Award Winners
Winner of the 2012 Elsevier/VSS Young Investigator Award
Geoffrey F. Woodman
Department of Psychology and Vanderbilt Vision Research Center
Dr. Geoffrey F. Woodman is the 2012 winner of the Elsevier/VSS Young Investigator Award. Dr. Woodman is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Vanderbilt Vision Research Center at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee. Geoff’s important contributions to vision science range from fundamental insights into human visual cognition to the development of novel electrophysiological techniques. His uniquely integrated approach to comparative electrophysiology has demonstrated homologies between man and monkey in the ERP components underlying attention and early visual processes, enabling new understanding of their neural bases. Geoff has also made key breakthroughs in the understanding of visual working memory, placing it at the center of the interaction between high-level cognition and perception. In the ten years since gaining his PhD, Geoff has been exceptionally productive, moving forward the core disciplines of visual perception, attention and memory, through his many insightful and high-impact papers. His breadth, technical versatility and innovation, particularly in linking human and non-human-primate studies, represent true excellence in vision sciences research.
Dr. Woodman's presentation:
Attention, memory, and visual cognition viewed through the lens of
Sunday, May 13, 7:00 pm, Royal Palm Ballroom
How do we find our children on a crowded playground, our keys in the
kitchen, or hazards in the roadway? This talk will begin by discussing
how measurements of electrical potentials from the brain offer a lens
through which to observe the processing of such complex scenes unfold.
For example, I will discuss our work showing that when humans search for
targets in cluttered scenes, we can directly measure the target
representations maintained in visual working memory and what information
is selected by attention. Moreover, when the searched-for target
is the same across a handful of trials we can watch these attentional
templates in working memory handed off to long-term memory. Next, I will
discuss our recent work demonstrating that redundant target
representations in working and long-term memory appear to underlie our
ability to exert enhanced cognitive control over visual cognition.
Finally, I will discuss our work focused on understanding the nature of
these electrophysiological tools. In studies with nonhuman
primates we have the ability to record event-related potentials from
outside the brain, like we do with humans, but also activity inside the
brain revealing the neural network generating these critical indices of
attention, memory, and a host of other cognitive processes.