Dixie Forum to present lecture on brain research

DixieForumDavidSomersDiscussing how the ability to see, remember and perform is influenced by the ability to pay attention, Dr. David C. Somers will present at the next installment of Dixie State University’s weekly lecture series Dixie Forum. In his presentation “Attention Networks of the Human Brain,” Somers will discuss the capabilities and limitations of human visual attention and how it impacts visual perception, working memory and cognition. The lecture is set to take place from noon to 12:50 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27, in the Dunford Auditorium of the Browning Resource Center on the Dixie State campus. Admission is free, and the public is encouraged to attend. Chair of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Boston University, Somers uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), behavioral studies and computational approaches to examine the interactions between attention, perception and working memory. By using fMRI, Somers’s laboratory researches the mechanisms used by the human brain to direct one’s attention. Recently, his laboratory identified new attention networks in the brain. These discoveries aid in understanding how long-term memories can guide one’s attention in familiar environments and how spatial and temporal information is encoded. Somers earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif., and a doctorate in cognitive and neural systems from Boston University. He was a post-doctoral researcher in Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts General Hospital. Now, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation support his research and laboratory. Dixie Forum is a weekly lecture series designed to introduce the St. George community and DSU students, faculty and staff to diverse ideas and personalities while widening their worldviews via a 50-minute presentation. Dixie Forum will continue at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 4, in the Dunford Auditorium, when Dr. Daniel Russell, senior research scientist for search quality and user happiness at Google, presents “The Future of Asking (and Answering) Questions: How Technology Changes the Way We Think.” For more information on Dixie State University’s Dixie Forum series, please contact DSU Forum Coordinator John Burns at 435-879-4712 or burns@dixie.edu or visit humanities.dixie.edu/the-dixie-forum.