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Polly Peers
Research staff, Executive processes group

Polly.Peers@mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk
01223 355294

The visual world is very complex and we can't possibly process all the information available to us. The healthy brain is quickly able to prioritise what visual information is most relevant to us and our ongoing behaviour and devote resources to processing relevant or important stimuli at the cost less important stimuli. This ability to attend to relevant visual information is key to successful functioning in such a rich visual world.

A common consequence of brain injury is a disruption of attentional processes. A most striking example of this is observed in patients with visual neglect. These patients appear unable to attend to one side of space, thus they can be observed to bump into things, dress only one side of their bodies and eat only the food on one side of their plates for example. These impairments are associated with poor recovery and at present there appears little effective treatment for these impairments.

My research focuses on applying models that have been developed to explain normal variability in attentional processes to better understand the effects of brain damage, to see whether we can improve patients functioning by training attentional skills and to gain a better understanding of the relationship between structural damage and functional impairment. Currently, in collaboration with John Duncan, Duncan Astle and Tom Manly, we are working on a project which aims to see we can ameliorate the impairments in neglect patients with training programs focussed on improving selective attention and visual working memory.

CBSU publications
PEERS, P. , ASTLE, D.E., DUNCAN, J.D., MURPHY, F., Hampshire, A., Das, T., MANLY, T. (In Press) Dissociable effects of Attention vs Working Memory on cognitive performance and everyday functioning following fronto-parital strokes, Neuropsychological Rehabilitation [Read More]

MURPHY, F., PEERS, P. , Holmes, E.A., Blackwell, S., MANLY, T. (2018) Anticipated and imagined futures: Prospective cognition and depressed mood following brain injury, British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 18(1):760 [Open Access]

PEERS, P. V., Simons, J.S., Lawrence, A.D. (2013) Prefrontal control of attention to threat, Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7:24 [Open Access]

Ghosh, B.C.P., CALDER, A.J., PEERS, P. V., Lawrence, A.D., Acosta-Cabronero, J., Pereira, J.M., Hodges, J.R., ROWE, J.B. (2012) Social cognitive deficits and their neural correlates in progressive supranuclear palsy, Brain, 135(Pt 7), 2089-2102 [Open Access]

Murthya, N.V., Selvaraja, S., Cowenc, P.J., Bhagwagard, Z., Riedele, W.J., PEERS, P. , Kennedy, J.L., Sahakianh, B.J., Laruelleb, M.A., Rabinera, E.A., Grasbya, P.M. (2010) Serotonin transporter polymorphisms (SLC6A4 insertion/deletion and rs25531) do not affect the availability of 5-HTT to [11C] DASB binding in the living human brain, NeuroImage 52(1), 50-54 [Read More]

Simons, J.S., PEERS, P. V., Mazuz, Y.S., Berryhill, M.E., & Olson, I.R. (2010) Dissociation between memory accuracy and memory confidence following bilateral parietal lesions, Cerebral Cortex, 20(2), 479-485. [Open Access]

PEERS, P. V. and Lawrence, A.D. (2009) Attentional control of emotional distraction in rapid serial visual presentation, Emotion, 9(1), 140-145 [Read More]

Pérez, A., PEERS, P. V., Valdés-Sosa, M., Galán, L., García, L., Martínez-Montes, E. (2009) Hemispheric modulations of alpha-band power reflect the rightward shift in attention induced by enhanced attentional load., Neuropsychologia, 47(1), 41-49 [Read More]

EWBANK, M.P., Lawrence, A.D., PASSAMONTI, L. KEANE, J., PEERS, P. & CALDER, A.J. (2009) Anxiety predicts a differential neural response to attended and unattended facial signals of anger and fear, NeuroImage, 44(3), 1144-1151 [Read More]

Dodds, C.m., Van Belle, J., PEERS, P. V., Dove, A., CUSACK, R., DUNCAN, J. & MANLY, T. (2008) The effects of time-on-task and concurrent cognitive load on normal visuospatial bias, Neuropsychology, 22(4), 545-552 [Read More]

Ally, B.A., Simons, J.S., McKeever, J.D., PEERS, P. V. & Budson, A.E. (2008) Parietal contributions to recollection: Electrophysiological evidence from aging and patients with parietal lesions., Neuropsychologia, 46(7), 1800-1812 [Open Access]

Simons, J.S., PEERS, P. V., Hwang, D.Y., Ally, B.A., Fletcher, P.C. & Budson, A.E. (2008) Is the parietal lobe necessary for recollection in humans?, Neuropsychologia 46, 1185–1191 [Read More]

PEERS, P. , LAWRENCE, A. & CALDER, A.J. (2007) Anxiety modulates an attentional blink to fearful and neutral faces, Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, 33-34 [Read More]

PEERS, P. V., Semple, J., Lai, R.Y.K, Hopton, G.R., Altman, J.F.B, Risner, M, & Riedel, W.J. (2006) A pilot study investigation the effects of rosiglitazone on performance on neuropsychological tests in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s Disease, Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, 2, S366-S367. [Read More]

PEERS, P. , CUSACK, R. & DUNCAN, J. (2006) Modulation of spatial bias in the dual task paradigm: Evidence from patients with unilateral parietal lesions and controls, Neuropsychologia, 44(8), 1325-1335 [Read More]

PEERS, P. , Ludwig, C., Rorden, C., CUSACK, R., Bonfiglioli, C., Bundesen, C., Driver, J., Antoun, N., and DUNCAN, J. (2005) Attentional functions of parietal and frontal cortex, Cerebral Cortex, 15(10), 1469-1484 [Read More]

PEERS, P. , CUSACK, R., Antoun, N., & DUNCAN, J. (2004) Neural correlates of spatial and non-spatial attention. Evidence from patients with unilateral brain lesions, Neuroimage (Abstract from British Neuropsychological Society Spring Meeting ) [Read More]

PEERS, P. , LUDWIG, C., RORDEN, C., CUSACK, C., Driver, J., Bundesen, C., Duncan, J (2002) Using Bundesen’s theory of visual attention to quantify attentional deficits following unilateral brain injury, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 14, Suppl, 19 [Read More]

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