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Diane M. Beck

Division: Cognitive Neuroscience

Associate Professor of Psychology

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Contact Information:

Specializations

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Attention
  • Visual Perception

Research Description

At the most general level, my research program is aimed at identifying the cognitive processes and neural structures that enable and limit our visual representations of the world. For instance, I am interested in: what processes determine whether or not we are aware of a visual object or event, can report its presence, or can recall it later; what mechanisms constrain the number of items we can effectively process at the same time; how higher-level processes such as attention modulate activity in visual cortex; and, why some stimuli (e.g. natural scenes)are processed so quickly and with relatively little effort. We use a variety of approaches to address these questions, including functional magnetic resonance imaging, behavioral methods, and transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Education

  • Ph.D. from University of California at Berkeley

Courses

  • Psych 220 Images of Mind (Spring)
  • Psych 453 Cognitive Neuroscience of Vision (Fall)
  • Psych 593 Consciousness
  • Psych 504: Theories of Attention
  • Psych 598: Proseminar in Cognitive Neuroscience (Fall)

Recent Publications

Beck, D. M. & Kastner, S. (2005). Stimulus context modulates competition in human extrastriate cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 8, 1110-1116.

Beck, D.M., Muggleton, N., Walsh, V., & Lavie, N. (2006). Right Parietal Cortex Plays a Critical Role in Change Blindness. Cerebral Cortex, 16, 712-17.

Scalf, P.E. & Beck, D. M. (2010). Competition for representation impedes attention to multiple items. Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 161-169.

Torralbo, A. & Beck, D. M. (2008) Perceptual load-induced selection as a result of local competitive interactions in visual cortex. Psychological Science, 19, 1045-1050.

Walther, D.B., Caddigan, E., Fei-Fei*, L., & Beck*, D.M. (2009). Natural Scene Categories Revealed in Distributed Patterns of Activity in the Human Brain. Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 10573-10581. (* indicates equal contribution)