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Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences

Yantis Lab

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Members of my laboratory conduct experiments to investigate human visual attention and cognitive control. We are interested how goals, expectations, and intentions can modulate sensory input (via acts of selective attention) and how they flexibly reconfigure perceptual, cognitive, and response mechanisms to carry out both simple and complex tasks. We measure behavior (using response time and accuracy) and brain activity (using fMRI in the F. M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging) to uncover the psychological and neural basis of attention and cognitive control. We are part of the JHU Vision Sciences Group.

We have recently been investigating cognitive control during task switching using multivoxel pattern classification. By analyzing multvariate patterns of activity as they change over time, we can track changes not just in the magnitude of the BOLD signal, but in dynamically unfolding patterns of brain activity. We've also been exploring how reward-related stimuli can drive attention involuntarily.  See our recent publications for more details.

Graduate students and postdocs in my lab receive training in a variety of methods, including the use of a computer-based experimental psychology laboratory, and the design, implementation, and analysis of fMRI studies of the human visual system. Together with the other core faculty actively using fMRI in their research, I offer frequent courses, seminars, and journal clubs that provide a lively research environment for learning about theory and methods in cognitive neuroscience. Students in my laboratory also benefit from advanced coursework and interdisciplinary research experience in collaborating laboratories in the departments of Cognitive Science and Neuroscience, in the Center for Imaging Science, and in the Zanvyl Kreiger Mind-Brain Institute at JHU.

--Steve Yantis

Back row: Kitty Xu, Brian Anderson, Dori Anastasia Blank, Steve Yantis, Anthony Sali
Front Row: Michelle Hall, Taylor Chamberlain, Michelle Chiu, Natalie Chan

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