Karin M. Bausenhart - Research Interests
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.
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.
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.