MIND Lecture by Dr. Michael Kane on March 6th

This is a reminder of Tuesday’s MIND Lecture by Dr. Michael Kane, entitled: “What mind wandering reveals about executive control & its variation”. The lecture will take place at 3pm, Tuesday, March 6th in the Alderson Auditorium (KS Union). Dr. Kane is a cognitive psychologist who has strong collaborations with social and clinical psychologists. His talk should be interesting to many in the department! 

Our guest for this year’s Cognitive Psychology Mind Lecture Series, Dr. Michael Kane, investigates the role of executive functions in mind wandering. Some of his other areas of research include: attentional control and working memory capacity. His research “explores the nature of WMC’s predictive power, in order to understand cognitive individual differences and the functioning of the core attention and memory processes that are broadly important to ‘real world’ cognition”. His work has appeared in Psychological BulletinJEP: GeneralPsychological Science, and Memory & Cognition, to name a few. He is a current recipient of an NIMH grant looking at executive control and schizotypy.

This lecture is made possible through the support of the Mind Lecture Series Endowment. A reception will follow after the lecture. 

Individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) predict complex cognitive capabilities (e.g., reading, reasoning) as well as performance in relatively simple attention tasks. Our executive attention theory of WMC argues that shared variance between WMC and higher-order cognition reflects primarily variation in attention control. In this talk, I will explore the WMC-attention relation by focusing on goal-neglect and mind-wandering phenomena. Goal neglect refers to momentary failures to respond according to goals despite knowing and appreciating them. I’ll argue that goal neglect (and WMC variation therein) sometimes results from mind-wandering, the subjective experience of off-task thought. Via daily-life and laboratory studies, I’ll suggest that mind-wandering research can inform theories of WMC and executive control.

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