Attention systems for perception and action

Vision serves two purposes: it allows us to consciously perceive our surroundings (e.g. recognize an object) and to act upon this environment (e.g. reach for the object). However, one or the other of these capabilities is often impaired in people with brain disorders, such as dementia or schizophrenia. While a wealth of research has been conducted on visual perception, less is known about visually guided actions, or how perception and action work together. The dual systems theory of vision allows for the possibility that there are separate attention systems for action and perception in the brain. Geniva Liu’s research focuses on improving understanding of how perception and action interact in vision. Results from the research could contribute to the design of strategies to help people with attention deficits capitalize on alternative resources for visually guided action or perception.