Cognition and Perception

Cognition and Perception

Karin M. Bausenhart - Research Interests

Distance-Dependency of Mental Representation

Do we think differently about things and events that take place in the here and now, than about things or events that are in the future or take place in distant locations? In the context of the research group “Modal and Amodal Cognition: Functions and Interactions”, I investigate how distance affects our mental representations.

Mechanisms of Stimulus Discrimination

Psychophysical evidence suggests that when we compare two stimuli (e.g., their duration, their size, or their pitch), our performance will not only depend on the specific stimuli, but also on the order in which they are presented. We currently investigate possible origins of such temporal order effects, as for example the concept of a dynamically updated internal reference which serves as a basis for stimulus discrimination.

Multisensory Integration of Temporal Information

It is still unclear how time is processed and represented in the brain, especially because we have no specific sensory system dedicated to the processing of temporal information. I am particularly interested how temporal information from different sensory modalities is processed and combined in order to form a coherent representation of our environment.

Temporal Preparation

We can react faster to stimuli if they are preceded by a warning signal. This is true even if the warning signal contains no information about the kind of the subsequent reaction stimulus, but only indicates the moment of reaction stimulus onset. The more precisely we can predict this moment, the better our temporal preparation for our reaction. I’m particularly interested in how and in which processing stages this temporal preparation takes place.

Dual-task Processing

Information processing underlies severe limitations when we have to process more than one stimulus at a time. I am interested in the nature and origin of these processing limitations, and especially in the role of stimulus classification as a potential cause of these limitations.