Matthew S. Cain



I'm a cognitive neuroscientist studying how human cognitive and perceptual performance is affected by context. Contextual effects can occur at many levels and I am interested not only in identifying contextual influences at a given level, but also in understanding how influences interact across levels. At the most immediate contextual level, I have examined factors like the rules and responses used on previous experimental trials (e.g., post-error slowing; task switching) and the distribution of stimuli in experimental environments (e.g., multiple-target visual search and optimal foraging theory). At a slightly broader level, I am interested in factors like task-specific practice, vigilance, and motivation. At the broadest level, I am interested in the personality and expertise factors (i.e., individual differences) that participants bring with them to an experiment (e.g., personality traits like extroversion or impulsiveness; experiences with real-world activities like on-the-job training, playing video games, and consuming media). I believe that a multi-level, multi-disciplinary approach is needed to truly understand human behavior in a complex world. As a postdoc in the Visual Attenion Lab at Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School I am studying multiple-target visual search and its connections with optimal foraging theory. Previously, as a postdoc in the Brown University Laboratory for Cognitive & Perceptual Learning I was investigating the interactions between sleep, reward, and perceptual learning using behavioral, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging methods. Before that, I waas a postdoc in the Duke Visual Cognition Lab, and studied the effects of contexts such as anxiety, environmental statistics, specialized training, and media experience on visual search and visual attention. For my dissertation work in the Shimamura Lab, I investigated how contexts such as sleep-based memory consolidation interact with cognitive control and trial-history effects.

Record last modified Sep 28, 2018 12:43:54 PM