Cognitive Neuroscientist Shares Psychology of Brain Function in ONR Lecture Series

Corporate Communications
Office of Naval Research
Phone: (703) 696-5031
E-mail: onrcsc@onr.navy.mil

For Immediate Release: March 30, 2010

Short or Long Attention Span? There May Be Biology at Work

ARLINGTON, Va.-The ability to pay attention is important to everyone. However, most people don't realize their ability to pay attention may fail them much the same way their hearts, lungs or other vital organs sometimes work at less than 100 percent.

Dr. Michael Posner, a cognitive neuroscientist and University of Oregon professor emeritus, will share how attention works and how it can be mapped in the brain during a lecture from 1 to 2:30 p.m. March 31 at the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

In his lecture titled "Attention as an Organ System: Implications for Education, Training and Rehabilitation," Posner links the biology of brain function to the psychology of one's ability to remain focused at those moments when others share ideas or information. The implications of that relationship may prompt new perspective in how people teach and learn.

Posner is a leading pioneer in the field of cognitive neuroscience and winner of numerous awards, including the 2008 National Medal of Science, the White House's highest honor given to scientists, engineers and inventors. The professor studies the role of attention in visual scanning, reading and numerical processing. His work has influenced students, faculty and researchers around the globe.

He is the first speaker in ONR's Office of Innovation 2010 Distinguished Lecture Series. Now in its second year, the lectures stimulate leading-edge discussion and collaboration among scientists and engineers representing Navy research, the Department of Defense, industry and academia. Previous lectures featured topics, including innovation in India, the critical need for basic scientific research and new approaches to coordinating scientific collaboration between federal agencies.

"Our Distinguished Lecture Series is ONR's opportunity to both showcase the scientists and to better understand the science that has changed our fundamental understanding. I am very proud of the DLS and in awe of the invited speakers," said ONR Director of Innovation, Dr. Larry Schuette.

For more information about the lecture series, call (703) 696-2924.

About The Office of Naval Research

The Department of the Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.

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Corporate Communications
Office of Naval Research
Phone: (703) 696-5031
E-mail: onrcsc@onr.navy.mil

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