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Emanuel Donchin

Section 1

Professor Emeritus of Psychology

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Research Description

Electrocortical measures and cognitive activities. Current research is concerned with the interpretation of components of the event related brain potential (ERP) as manifestations of cognitive activity. We are particularly interested in the P300 component. It appears plausible to assume that this component is a manifestation of intracranial activity associated with the updating of models of the environment maintained in working memory. This theory is tested in a series of studies focusing on the relationship between the amplitude of P300 elicited by a stimulus and the likelihood that the stimulus will be recalled in a subsequent test. We are also investigating the utility of ERP components as tools in the study of cognitive function. The latency of the P300, for example, has been shown to be affected by "mental" events and to be largely unaffected by response selection and execution. This property allows a fresh look at a number of central issues in Mental Chronometry. Other investigations involve the use of ERP components in assessing cognitive capacity within the framework of Engineering Psychology. A major portion of the lab's effort is devoted to the development of P300 and other ERP components in the assessment of Mental Work Load. Related projects are an investigation of mental slowness in the aged and studies of the effects of lead poisoning on cognitive function.

Education

  • Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles
Section 2

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Building Remodeling Projects

Click on the title to check out these pictures from the classroom remodeling project in the basement. A second project to replace the elevators will begin in September. Beginning with the freight elevator, each elevator will be out of service for three months. To get quickly from one floor to another, and improve your fitness, we will encourage the use of the stairs. The repainting of the northeast stairwell has been completed, and the painter is starting on the southwest stairwell.