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Cousineau, Denis

Adjunct Professor


  • Telephone 613-562-5800 #7910

Research expertise

What is attention? What grabs our attention? Can we learn to control our attention? These questions are central to my research program.

Attention is typically seen as a sort of spotlight that shifts from one object to another. Other schools feel that attention can be focused or diffused, depending on how important the targets are in relation to the distractions. A third view has it that attention cannot be diffused but may be assisted by a pre-processing phase rapidly executed over the entire visual field.

The attention system is a low-level system (near to perception). It is an important system, however, since it lets us make selections when several sources of information are competing for our cognitive faculties. In addition, the system imposes serial processing on what we know to be a parallel architecture (the brain). Knowledge of the attention system will allow us to better understand other selective systems (like planning) and serial systems (like language production).

Areas of expertise