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Anne B. Sereno, Ph.D.

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Higher Cognitive Functions of Attention, Short-Term Memory, and the Programming of Eye Movements

Anne B. Sereno, Ph.D.We take our everyday abilities very much for granted. Yet these mundane abilities, technically referred to as "higher cognitive functions", constitute an incredibly complex system that researchers are only beginning to understand. One simple way to begin to appreciate these abilities is to consider what happens to those who suffer various types of brain damage (either through accident or disease). In many cases, despite intact general intellectual capabilities, some particular mental ability is severely impaired. They are unable to speak, to remember something from one day to the next, to recognize faces, or to find their way about.

Learning And Cognition
Infrared eye tracking apparatus.

My research focuses on the higher cognitive functions of attention, short-term memory, and the programming of eye movements. I attempt to define the characteristics of these behaviors, search for the underlying physiological mechanism, and develop methods to improve diagnosis, treatment, and outcome in those who suffer from these deficits. This quest involves examining these behaviors under a variety of conditions: as they normally occur in normal human subjects, as they are disrupted in various clinical populations, as well as while recording from single units in cortex of behaving rhesus monkeys. I strongly feel that the most effective way to attack a problem is to approach it from several different angles. Our research has shown that a better understanding of the characteristics and underlying physiological mechanisms of these higher cognitive functions can help in the diagnosis, treatment, and etiology of various diseases and disorders involving the disruption of these functions.


Selected Reading

Sereno, AB, and Holzman, PS. Antisaccades and smooth pursuit eye movements in schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry. 37:394-401, 1995. article [pdf]

Sereno, AB, and Maunsell, JHR. Shape selectivities in primate lateral intraparietal cortex. Nature. 395:500-503, 1998. article [pdf]

Hood, AJ, Amador, SC, Cain, AE, Briand, KA, Al-Refai, AH, Schiess, MC, Sereno AB. Levodopa slows prosaccades and improves antisaccades: An eye movement study in Parkinson's disease. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 78:565-570, 2007. article [pdf]

Lehky, SR, Peng, X, McAdams, CJ, Sereno, AB. Spatial modulation of primate inferotemporal responses by eye position. PLoS One. 2008;3(10):e3492. article [pdf]

Sereno AB, Lehky SR, Patel S, Peng X.  A neurophysiological correlate and model of reflexive spatial attention.  In N. Srinivasan, Bhoomika R. Kar, and J. Pandey (eds.), Advances in Cognitive Science: Volume 2: 104-131, 2010. article [pdf]

Hill JL, Patel SS, Gu X, Seyedali N, Bachevalier J, Sereno AB.  Social orienting: reflexive versus voluntary control.  Vision Research, 50: 2080-92, 2010. article [pdf]

Sereno AB, Lehky SR. Population encoding of visual space: Comparison of spatial representations in dorsal and ventral pathways.  Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 4: 159, 2011. article [pdf]

Lehky SR, Sereno AB.  Population encoding of visual space:  Modeling, Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience.  Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 4: 155, 2011. article [pdf]

Larrison, AL, Babin, SL, Xing, Y, Patel, SS, Wassef, AA, and Sereno, AB.  Effects of adjunct valproic acid on clinical symptoms and saccadic eye movements in schizophrenia, Human Psychopharmacology, 26:517-525, 2011. article [pdf]

Babin, SL, Hood, AJ, Wassef AA, Williams, NG, Patel, SS, and Sereno, AB.  Effects of haloperidol on cognition in schizophrenia patients depend on baseline performance: A saccadic eye movement study, Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 35:1753-64, 2011. article [pdf]

Patel, SS, Jankovic, J, Hood, AJ, Jeter, CB, and Sereno, AB. Reflexive and volitional saccades:  Biomarkers of Huntington disease severity and progression, Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 2011 (in press). article [pdf]


Search PubMed for additional articles.

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