Caro Hautekiet

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Caro Hautekiet

Doctorante, CANDOC FNS

I completed my Master of Science in Experimental and Theoretical Psychology at the University of Ghent (Belgium). During my master’s program, I did a research internship on consciousness and attention at the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and I wrote my master thesis about the influence of alcohol on visual attention in young Belgian drivers. In October 2019, I moved to Geneva to pursue a PhD at the University of Geneva (Switzerland) studying working memory and attention. More specifically, I am interested in the focus of attention and what it means for an item to be in the focus of attention in working memory. Additionally, I am assisting in the Introduction of developmental cognitive psychology course of Prof. Vergauwe and I am a member of the local node of the Swiss Reproducibility Network at the University of Geneva in which I organize the ‘ReproducibiliTea’ journal club together with my colleague Beatrice Valentini.

Twitter: @HautekietCaro
Linkedin

 

Ongoing projects

The accessibility of an item in the focus of attention in working memory

girl1.pngWhen you focus on something specifically in working memory, this is assumed to be in your focus of attention in working memory. For example, when you have four items in your mind for a certain task (‘chair’, ‘apple’, ‘banana’, ‘bottle’), and you are asked to think about a yellow fruit, ‘banana’ will be in your focus of attention. Many researchers agree that this focus of attention has a one-item limited capacity. However, not everybody agrees on the accessibility of this item. Thus, how easily we are able to access this item in working memory to use in an ongoing task. On the one hand, some researchers believe it is easier to access this specific item, residing in the focus of attention, compared to another item outside of the focus of attention (in working memory). On the other hand, there are a few researchers that have found that the item in the focus of attention is actually more difficult to access in an ongoing task or procedure compared to another item outside of the focus of attention (in working memory).

(in collaboration with Evie Vergauwe & Naomi Langerock)

 

The robustness of an item in the focus of attention in working memory

girl2.pngIn relation to the first project, I am also investigating how robust the item in the focus of attention in working memory is. More specifically, there are two sides to this story (again). While many researchers have found that the item in the focus of attention benefits from a protective state to perceptual interference, others have shown this to be a particularly vulnerable state compared to other items in working memory.

 

(in collaboration with Evie Vergauwe & Naomi Langerock)

 

The relation of the internal focus of attention and the external focus of attention

girl3.pngWhile my first two projects concern what is happening in the internal focus of attention (i.e., in working memory), my last project investigates how the internal focus of attention relates to the external focus of attention. While the two are very alike, the internal focus of attention regards to things represented in working memory and the external focus of attention regards to things happening in the external world. In this project, I am investigating how the two relate to each other and how easily we can switch between something held in working memory (e.g., the word ‘banana’) and something happening right in front of us (e.g., an image of an apple).

(in collaboration with Sam Verschooren, Naomi Langerock, & Evie Vergauwe)

 

And many more collaborations

Laboratoire Mémoire de travail, Cognition et Développement 
Université de Genève
Faculté de psychologie et Sciences de l'éducation
Bureau 5158
40 Boulevard Pont d'Arve
1205 Genève

     

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