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Director: Dr. Walter R. Boot


The Attention and Training Lab is located in the Department of Psychology at Florida State University.

At the ATL, we conduct research on a number of related topics:

Attention and Visual Search. The visual environments we navigate every day are far too complex to process and understand all at once. We study how our brains make sense of these environments by selectively paying attention to relevant information while filtering out irrelevant information. Our particular interest is understanding how visual processing is guided during visual search, a topic of importance since the search process can have profound implications outside of the laboratory (e.g., when searching for a knife in an x-ray image of luggage or searching for a relevant blip on a sonar display).

Complex Skill Acquisition. As technology progresses, humans are required to master increasingly more complex tasks. The ATL examines the best training strategies to accelerate learning and maximize skill mastery. Additionally, although training efficiency is critical to an effective training regimen, training that generalizes to other untrained tasks would have great practical significance. The ATL examines issues of training and transfer of training, often in the context of specially designed research and commercial video games.

Cognitive Aging Interventions. Numerous studies over the years have detailed age-related changes in basic perceptual and cognitive abilities, including declines in long and short-term memory, attentional control, dual-tasking and task-switching ability, processing speed, and reasoning ability. However, can these declines be reversed? The ATL examines how cognitive engagement via technology might improve the perceptual and cognitive abilities of seniors.