Our mind is a highly efficient information processor. It is capable of selecting goal-related information from surrounding irrelevant information, representing and manipulating the selected information, and storing and retrieving the information for use later in time.
HOWEVER, IT IS FAR FROM PERFECT. Sometimes, we find ourselves attracted to and dwelling on irrelevant information in face of relevant information. Other times, we cannot remember important information no matter how hard we try. Natural questions to ask then are WHY is it not optimal? and HOW can we make it closer to optimal?
Fukuda lab seeks to answer these two questions to achieve two goals that interact:
1) Read the mind, or deepen the understanding of the cognitive and the neural mechanisms of our information-processing abilities,
2) Lead the mind, or improve our information-processing abilities by utilizing the knowledge of underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms.
To achieve these goals, Fukuda lab primarily uses two neuroscience techniques that complement one another. Electrophysiological recordings of the electroencephalogram (EEG) allow us to continuously examine the temporal dynamics of the neural networks underlying cognitive processes with millisecond-level resolution. These help to dissect the rapid cascade of cognitive and neural operations that results in the behavioral output of an individual. Much of my work uses an individual-differences approach. This provides a large-scale picture of the complex relationships amongst cognitive abilities by revealing the structure of covariance in individuals’ performance on a multitude of cognitive tasks.
Here are some project descriptions!
Reading the mind
1) How much visual information can we represent in our mind at a given time?
How do individuals differ in this capacity?
2) How does our brain represent multiple objects in our mind?
3) What are the consequences of the individual differences in our mental capacity?
Leading the mind
1) How should we display information to enhance our cognition?
2) Can we use EEG to aid our cognition in real time?