Dr Christoph Weidemann
Associate Professor
Psychology
Telephone: (01792) 606766
Room: Office - 720
Seventh Floor
Vivian Building
Singleton Campus

Cognitive processes, such as those involved in perception, memory and decision making, are highly context dependent. Previous experiences, expectations, and goals all shape how sensory input is transformed into percepts, how memories are stored and retrieved and how available information is evaluated to guide behavior. This feature of human information processing is fascinatingly pervasive and can be easily experienced, especially in cases when it leads to errors. For example, it is often difficult to identify a familiar face outside of its usual context ("the butcher on the bus" phenomenon) and the the erroneous repetition of written words often goes unnoticed ("repetition blindness"; an example is embedded in this very sentence).

Despite leading to errors in some cases, the integration of context with current processing is integral to cognition because it constitutes the foundation for learning and adaptive behavior. My research investigates how context shapes human information processing. To this end I measure accuracy and speed of overt behavior as well as activity in the human brain as assessed with tools such as electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG) and direct recordings from electrodes that are implanted in the brains of neurosurgery patients. A particular emphasis of my work is on the development of precise theoretical accounts (mathematical models) of cognitive processes that are informed and constrained by measured overt behavior and brain activity.

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Publications

  1. Neural activity reveals interactions between episodic and semantic memory systems during retrieval. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General
  2. & Dynamics of brain activity reveal a unitary recognition signal.. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
  3. & Intact word processing in developmental prosopagnosia. Scientific Reports 7(1)
  4. & Localized component filtering for electroencephalogram artifact rejection. Psychophysiology
  5. & Assessing recognition memory using confidence ratings and response times. Royal Society Open Science 3(4), 150670

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Teaching

  • PS-M73 Basic EEG Analysis

    Electroencephalography (EEG) makes it possible to record the brain¿s function in vivo. This module will give students an introduction to the computational analysis of EEG data with a focus on event-related potentials (ERPs). Students will learn about the preprocessing and basic analysis of EEG data, and learn how to use popular software packages, such as Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM) and EEGLab.

  • PS-M76 Advanced EEG Analysis

    Electroencephalography (EEG) makes it possible to record the brain¿s function in vivo. This module will expand on the introduction to the computational analysis of EEG data (provided by the Basic EEG Analysis module), with a focus on time-frequency (TF)/wavelet analysis. Students will learn about advanced analysis of EEG data and build upon their knowledge of SPM and EEG Lab from the Basic EEG Analysis Module.

  • PSGS07 Year Abroad, Queensland University of Technology

    This module is for Psychology students taking the intercalary study year at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.

  • PSGS08 Year Abroad, Wilfrid Laurier University

    This module is for Psychology students taking the intercalary study year at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada.

  • PSY211 Cognition II: Higher Level Processes

    The module provides an in depth look at the cognitive processes underlying important higher level functions such as language, thinking, problem solving, reasoning and making decisions. The module will start covering a series of topics within perception and attention such as visual perception, biological motion, auditory perception, chemical senses, touch and proprioception, multisensory experiences, attentional mechanisms, and attention in driving. This will be followed by the most important and hotly debated issues in psycholinguistics, including how children acquire language, how language is processed in the adult mind with particular emphasis on reading, spelling dyslexia and bilingualism. The last part of the module will deal with the way in which humans make judgments, reach decisions and resolve problems and puzzles by examining the research evidence and exploring the classical and current theories.

Supervision

  • Modelling context effects in cognition: Integrating EEG and choice response time models«br /» «br /» (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Johnston
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Vicky Lovett