by Kyle on December 20, 2009

We use human behavioural studies, neuroimaging, and electrophysiological recording to gain understanding of the visual attention system. We are interested broadly in the mechanisms of visual awareness and their intimate link with attention. We study basic processes of the visual attention system involving oscillations in neural activity, as well as how these processes are utilized in real world tasks such as driving and video games. We are also developing and researching new technologies to non-invasively monitor physiology and brain activity. 

More specifically, I am investigating the functional role of ongoing neural oscillations in visual perception and awareness using EEG, as well as event-related optical brain imaging.

EEG Alpha Phase and Awareness – Pulsed Inhibition (Mathewson et al., 2009, Journal of Neuroscience; Mathewson et al., 2011, Frontiers in Perception Science)  — To see or not to seeOpen source review paper

Depending on the phase of ongoing EEG alpha rhythms, identical visual targets can be either detected or undetected. Alpha acts as a PULSED INHIBITION on ongoing visual processing.

Entraining Brain Rhythms and Awareness (Mathewson et al., 2001, Cognition; Mathewson et al., 2012, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience) — popular press article







By flashing rhythmic visual stimuli, the visual system becomes entrained to their timing, producing periodic fluctuations in the resultant awareness.


Flexible Electronics for Neuroscience (Xu, Zhang, Jia, Mathewson et al., 2014, ScienceJang, Han, Xu, Mathewson et al., Nature Communications) — popular press 

demo3_CREDIT- John Rogers

We are developing, along with material scientists and engineers, flexible devices that adhere to the skin and can wireless record and transmit electrophysiological information about the brain. We have applied this technology to a driving simulator where we measure heart, muscle, eye, and brain activity during natural behaviours.


Driving and the Brain (Gaspar et al., In Press, Psychological Science; Jang et al., 2014, Nature Communications )

Jang et al., 2014, Fig 8, NatComm











We use naturalistic driving simulators to study the human attention system engaged in a demanding and ecologically valid task. This research utilizes cutting edge neuroimaging tools and techniques to afford portable and wireless recording of neuroimaging and physiological data.


Optical Imaging and Awareness (Mathewson et al., 2013, Journal of Neuroscience) – optical imaging analysis how-to – popular pressarticle

We are using a fast optical imaging technique called the event related optical signal (EROS) to visualize the difference in brain activity when someone is and is not aware of a target, as well as the relationship between these signals and EEG oscillations


Video Games and the Brain (Maclin, Mathewson et al.,2010, Psychophysiology; Mathewson, Maclin et al., 2012, Psychphysiology ) — popular press article

Our research has focused on the changes that occur in the brain as on becomes an expert at a complicated video game. Furthermore, we able to predict who will learn the game the fastest, and whose skills will transfer outside the game


Coming face to face with 2-faced faces (Jensen and Mathewson, Perception, 2011 ) — article — press

When two ambiguous figures are placed side by side, their interpretation normally fluctuates in unison. By providing a verbal relationship between the interpretations, we can allow normally conflicting interpretations to peacefully coexist side by side