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Visual attention and memory for landmarks during real-world navigation

Semester: Summer 2023


Presentation description

During real-world navigation, humans are constantly exposed to visual stimuli. Research has shown that a person's sustained attention to a stimulus is associated with memory formation. To date, many of these studies have taken place in lab settings with stimuli on computer screens. Building on this research, our team examined how visual attention influences the ability to remember landmarks during real-world navigations with eye-tracking and brain recordings. We hypothesized that landmarks that are remembered will have been visually attended to for longer during navigation. This increased attention will induce memory-related brain activity in the temporal lobe (TL) of the brain. Five participants implanted with NeuroPace Responsive Neurostimulators recording local field potentials (LFPs) from their TLs were tasked with navigating a complex 0.75-mile route well enough that the participant could navigate the route in the opposite direction. We cataloged 150 landmarks that were visible to participants along the route. Subjects walked the route 7-8 times across two days, with the 1st walk guided (encoding) and 6-7 of the walks navigated by the participants themselves (retrieval). They then completed a landmark recognition task. Participants were asked to distinguish between 150 landmarks that appeared on the route and 150 similar landmarks that did not appear on the route. For our analysis, we will compare participants' visual attention - measured by fixation duration, saccade frequency, and number of fixations to each landmark - to the results of the recognition task. We have been developing the analysis approach to creating dynamic areas of interest in 1st person videos and have begun data processing and analysis for each participant. If our hypotheses are supported, our findings would show that the amount of visual attention to landmarks during real-world navigation influences subsequent memory and modulates medial and lateral temporal lobe activity during real-world memory encoding.

Presenter Name: Lillian MacKinney

Presentation Type: Poster
Presentation Format: In Person
Presentation #16
College: Social & Behavioral Science
School / Department: Psychology
Research Mentor: Cory Inman
Date | Time: Thursday, Aug 3rd | 10:30 AM