Dr Christopher L Asplund obtained his AB in Cognitive Psychology from Princeton University in 2003, having spent part of his undergraduate career at University College London and Ohio State. His interest in the neural basis of cognition then led him to Vanderbilt University, where he studied the limits of human attention, working memory, and reasoning using both behavioural measures and functional neuroimaging (fMRI). Soon after receiving his PhD in 2010, he moved to Singapore, where he was a Research Fellow at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School before he joined Yale-NUS in May 2013.
Dr Asplund has long been fascinated by our amazing cognitive abilities and their severe limitations. Despite having complex brains with billions of neurons, we have trouble doing two things at once or making fairly elementary inferences. So why do attention, working memory, and reason so often fail? What can we do about such failures? And what can we learn from them?
Dr Asplund studies these questions by conducting behavioural experiments, building computational models, and employing functional neuroimaging. Using these approaches, he hopes to better understand cognition and its neural underpinnings.
Asplund, C.L., Fougnie, D., Zughni, S., Martin, J.W., & Marois, R. (2014). The attentional blink reveals the probabilistic nature of discrete conscious perception. Psychological Science, 25(3): 824-831.
Asplund, C.L. & Chee, M.W.L. (2013). Time-on-task and sleep deprivation effects are evidenced in overlapping brain areas. NeuroImage, 82: 326-335.
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, 108(33): 13426-31.
Asplund, C.L., Todd, J.J., Snyder, A.P., Gilbert, C.M., & Marois, R. (2010). Surprise-induced blindness: A stimulus-driven attentional limit to conscious perception. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 36(6): 1372-81.
Fougnie, D., Asplund, C.L., & Marois, R. (2010). What are the units of storage in visual working memory? Journal of Vision, 10(12):27, 1-11.
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(4): 507-12.
Buckholtz, J.W., Asplund, C.L., Dux, P.E., Zald, D.H., Gore, J.C., Jones, O.D., & Marois, R. (2008). The neural correlates of third-party punishment. Neuron, 60(5): 930-40.
Understanding Behavior and Cognition