Group leader: Dirk Kerzel
Group name: Cognitive Psychology
Only a small portion of the information that arrives on our receptor organs is fully processed. Current estimates of the maximum number of objects that are retained by the cognitive system are as low as ONE object. On the one hand, this shows that our cognitive capacity is severely limited. On the other hand, this limitation shows that we are able to efficiently select stimuli for further processing. Selection is necessary to ensure successful interaction with the environment. For instance, we are unable to grasp more than a single object at a time; hence the need for selection. Despite the efficiency of selection, salient information, such as flashing lights, may disrupt processing of action-relevant objects. One of the questions we are pursuing in our research is how distracting information changes the execution of hand or eye movements. Are we able to pursue a moving object with the eyes if other, to-be-ignored stimuli suddenly pop up? How are reach trajectories modified when a stimulus is presented at a location that is different from the action goal?
Group website: http://www.unige.ch/fapse/PSY/persons/kerzel/