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René Marois

Professor & Chair of Psychology
Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences

Research in the Marois lab centers on two main main topics. First, much of the lab's work focuses on understanding the neural basis of attention in humans using fMRI and psychophysical tools. They are particularly interested in understanding the neural basis of attentional capacity limits (why can we only attend to few objects at a time? Why can't carry out more than one task at a time?). They are also exploring the nature of the relationship between attention, working memory and awareness.

The second research thrust of the lab concerns the nascent field of 'Neurolaw' in collaboration with faculty members of the Law School. Specifically, the lab is is interested in elucidating the brain mechanism underlying legal and punishment decision-making. 

Representative Publications

  • Asplund, C.L., Fougnie, D.L.; Zughni, S., Martin, J., & Marois, R. (in press) The attentional blink reveals the probabilistic nature of discrete conscious perception. Psychol. Sci.

  • Filmer, H, Mattingley J, Marois R, and Dux PE (in press) Disrupting prefrontal cortex prevents performance gains from sensory-motor training. J Neurosci.

  • Jones, OJ, Marois, R., Farah, M, & Greely, H. (in press) Law and Neuroscience, J Neurosci.

  • Tamber-Rosenau BJ, Dux PE, Tombu MN, Asplund CL, Marois R. (2013) Amodal processing in human prefrontal cortex. J Neurosci. 33:11573-11587.

  • Han SW, & Marois R. (2013) The source of dual-task limitations: Serial or parallel processing of multiple response selections? Attent Percept Psychophys. 75: 1395-1405.

  • Katwal, S.B., Gore, J.C., Marois, R, & Rogers, B.P. Unsupervised Spatiotemporal Analysis of FMRI Data Using Graph-based Visualizations of Self-organizing Maps (2013) IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering (TBME). 60: 2472-2483.

  • Han, S.W., & Marois, R. (2013) Dissociation between process-based and data-based limitations for conscious perception in the human brain. Neuroimage, 64: 399-406.

  • Buckholtz, J.W., & Marois R. (2012). The roots of modern justice: cognitive and neural foundations of social norms and their enforcement. Nature Neuroscience 15: 655-61

  • Tombu, M.N, Asplund, C.L., Dux, P.E., Godwin, D, Martin, J.W., & Marois, R. (2011). A unified attentional bottleneck in the human brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 108:13426-13431. 

  • Fougnie, D.L., and Marois, R. (2011). What limits working memory capacity?  Evidence for modality-specific sources to the simultaneous storage of visual and auditory arrays. J. Exp. Psychol. Learn. Mem. Cog. 37:1329-1341.

  • Scalf, P., Dux, P.E., Marois, R. (2011). Working memory encoding delays top- down attention to visual cortex. J. Cogn. Neurosci. 23:2593-2604.

  • Asplund, C.L., Todd, J.J., Snyder, A.P., Gilbert, C.M., & Marois, R. (in press). Surprise-induced Blindness: A Stimulus-driven Attentional Limit to Conscious Perception. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.
  • Asplund, C.L., Todd, J.J., Snyder, A.P., & Marois, R. (2010). A central role for the lateral prefrontal cortex in goal-directed and stimulus-driven attention. Nature Neuroscience, 13: 507-512.
  • Fougnie, D.L., & Marois, R. (2009). Dual-task interference in visual working memory: A limitation in storage capacity but not in encoding or retrieval. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics. 71:1831-1841.
  • Dux, P.E., Tombu, M.N., Harrison, S., Rogers, B.P., Tong, F., & Marois, R. (2009). Training improves multitasking performance by increasing the speed of information processing in human prefrontal cortex. Neuron, 63: 127-138.
  • Ivanoff, J.I., Branning, P., & Marois, R. (2009). Mapping the pathways of Information Processing from Sensation to Action in Four Distinct Sensorimotor tasks. Human Brain Mapping, 30:4167-4186.
  • Dux, P.E., & Marois, R. (2009). How humans search for targets through time: A review of data and theory from the attentional blink. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 71:1683-700.
  • Fougnie, D., & Marois, R. (2009). Attentive tracking disrupts feature binding in visual working memory. Visual Cognition, 17, 48-66.
  • Ivanoff J, Branning P, Marois R. (2008) fMRI evidence for a dual process account of the speed-accuracy tradeoff in decision-making. PLoS ONE. Jul 9; 3(7):e2635
  • Fougnie DL, Marois R. (2007). Executive Load in Working Memory Induces Inattentional Blindness. Psychonomic Bulletin Review 14, 142-147.
  • Dux P, Ivanoff, J., Asplund, C., & Marois R. (2006). Isolation of a central bottleneck of information processing with time-resolved fMRI. Neuron, 52: 1109-1120.