Woldorff Lab

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Personal information

Real name
Marty Woldorff
Position
Principal Investigator
Research Aims

Dr. Woldorff's CV

Dr. Marty Woldorff is a Professor in the departments of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, and Neurobiology. He arrived at Duke in the fall of 1999.

Dr. Woldorff did his undergraduate work at Cornell University and U.C. Berkeley, receiving a Bachelors degree in Physics and Applied Mathematics from Berkeley. He received a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from UC San Diego in 1989, gaining his training under the tutelage of Dr. Steve Hillyard.

Professor Woldorff's main research interest has been in the neural underpinnings of attention and perception. His early work employed event-related potentials (ERPs), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and structural MRI to reveal that strongly focused auditory attention can affect auditory sensory processing in primary auditory cortex as early as 20 ms post-stimulus (Woldorff et al., 1987; Woldorff and Hillyard, 1991; Woldorff et al., 1993). Related work included the discovery that strongly focused attention can heavily attenuate the mismatch negativity, an ERP wave elicited by deviant auditory stimuli in an otherwise repeating auditory sequence, thereby providing important evidence against the strong automaticity of auditory sensory feature analysis (Woldorff et al., 1991; Woldorff et al., 1998).

In 1992, Dr. Woldorff went to the Research Imaging Center in San Antonio to pursue the study of cognitive processes using multiple brain imaging methodologies. There he headed up the ERP division and spearheaded the integration of hemodynamic brain imaging data (e.g., positron emission tomography [PET] and functional MRI [fMRI]) with electrophysiological recordings (e.g., ERPs). His research there included the use of this multi-methodological integrative approach to study visual attention, which led to work that helped map out both the timing and location of early visual spatial attention effects and their retinotopic organization (Woldorff et al., 1997, 1999).

Dr. Woldorff has also been involved in various projects developing and advancing the methodologies used for measuring brain activity. One example involves the fact that the study of attention and various other cognitive neuroscience questions is often facilitated by, or even requires, fast stimulus presentation rates. At fast rates in ERP studies, however, the ERP brain responses to successive stimuli overlap in time, thereby distorting the ERP averages. Part of Dr. Woldorff's earlier work involved analyzing and modeling such distortion and developing a deconvolution technique to remove it (the "Adjar" technique, Woldorff, 1993).  More recently, this work also has turned out to be highly relevant to recent developments in event-related fMRI, and Dr. Woldorff has continued to be involved in the development of these methods for fMRI (Burock et al., 1998; Hinrichs et al., 2000; Woldorff et al., 2004).

For his work on early auditory attention and on the development of deconvolution techniques for fast-rate ERP studies, Dr. Woldorff was awarded the Sam Sutton award for Early Distinguished Contribution to Event-related Potentials and Cognition at the Tenth International Conference on ERPs [EPIC 10] in Eger, Hungary in 1992.

Dr. Woldorff has had several ongoing collaborations with researchers at other institutions. These include a long-time collaboration with researchers in Magdeburg, Germany, that has focused on the use of fMRI, MEG, and EEG to study auditory and visual attentional and perceptual (Baumgart et al., 1998; Woldorff et al., 1999; Hinrichs et al., 2000; Noesselt et al., 2002; Schoenfeld et al., 2003; Krebs et al., 2010). An additional ongoing collaboration with Dr. Anders Dale and colleagues at Harvard involves new ways of performing fMRI experiments and integrating fMRI and ERP data for studies of perception and attention (e.g., Burock et al., 1998; Hinrichs et al., 2000; Woldorff et al., 2004).

Dr. Woldorff's work at Duke has been focused on the continuing study of auditory, visual, and multisensory attention and perception, using a combination of methodologies, including behavioral measures, ERPs, MEG, fMRI, and electrophysiological source modeling.   Recent work from his lab includes systems-levels studies of  the control of visual spatial attention (Woldorff et al., 2004; Grent-‘t-Jong & Woldorff, 2007; Weissman et al., 2006, 2009), the influence of attention on multisensory processing (Talsma et al., 2005, 2006, 2007; Senkowski et al., 2007), the spread of attention across a multisensory  object (Busse et al., 2005), and the interactions of attention, stimulus conflict, and cognitive control (Weissman et al., 2004, 2005, 2008; Appelbaum et al., 2009). Dr. Woldorff’s work also includes continued development of new approaches and methods, with a recent focus on developing new ways to analyze and integrate EEG and fMRI data collected simultaneously. 

For the pursuit of this research at Duke, Dr. Woldorff is currently funded by a grant from NIMH for the study of attentional control and conflict processing using a combination of ERPs and fMRI and by a grant from NINDS for the study of attention in multisensory environments.  He is also  a project P.I. on an NINDS program grant based at the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center at the Duke University Medical Center studying the interactions of social perception and attention.

History

Member for
6 years 8 weeks

My publications

Please click on the title of a paper to download a PDF.

2014
J Park, C Chiang, EM Brannon, and MG Woldorff (2014).  Experience-dependent Hemispheric Specialization of Letters and Numbers Is Revealed in Early Visual Processing. J Cogn Neurosci. Abstract
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M Pinhas, SE Donohue, MG Woldorff, and EM Brannon (2014).  Electrophysiological Evidence for the Involvement of the Approximate Number System in Preschoolers' Processing of Spoken Number Words. J Cogn Neurosci. Abstract
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LG Appelbaum, CN Boehler, LA Davis, RJ Won, and MG Woldorff (2014).  The dynamics of proactive and reactive cognitive control processes in the human brain. J Cogn Neurosci. 26, 1021-38. Abstract
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ML Gamble, and MG Woldorff (2014).  The Temporal Cascade of Neural Processes Underlying Target Detection and Attentional Processing During Auditory Search. Cereb Cortex. Abstract
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B van den Berg, RM Krebs, MM Lorist, and MG Woldorff (2014).  Utilization of reward-prospect enhances preparatory attention and reduces stimulus conflict. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. Abstract
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2013
Schevernels, H., Krebs, R. M., Santens, P., Woldorff, M. G., Boehler, C. N. (2013).  Task preparation processes related to reward prediction precede those related to task-difficulty expectation. Neuroimage.. 84C:639-64, 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.09.039.. Abstract
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Appelbaum, L. G., Donohue, S. E., Park, C. J., Woldorff, M. G. (2013).  Is one enough? The case for non-additive influences of visual features on crossmodal Stroop interference. Front Psychol.. 4:799., 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00799.. Abstract
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Harris, J. A., McMahon, A. R., Woldorff, M. G. (2013).  Disruption of visual awareness during the attentional blink is reflected by selective disruption of late-stage neural processing. J Cogn Neurosci.. 25, 1863-74. doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_00443. Epub 2013 Jul 16.. Abstract
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Harris, J. A., Ku, S., Woldorff, M. G. (2013).  Neural processing stages during object-substitution masking and their relationship to perceptual awareness. Neuropsychologia.. 51, 1907-17. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.05.023. Epub 2013 Jun 7.. Abstract
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Donohue, S. E., Appelbaum, L. G., Park, C. J., Roberts, K. C., Woldorff, M. G. (2013).  Cross-modal stimulus conflict: the behavioral effects of stimulus input timing in a visual-auditory Stroop task. PLoS One.. 8, e62802. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062802. Print 2013.. Abstract
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San Martin, R., Appelbaum, L. G., Pearson, J. M., Huettel, S. A., Woldorff, M. G. (2013).  Rapid brain responses independently predict gain maximization and loss minimization during economic decision making. J Neurosci.. 33, 7011-9. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4242-12.2013.. Abstract
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Krebs, R. M., Boehler, C. N., Appelbaum, L. G., Woldorff, M. G. (2013).  Reward associations reduce behavioral interference by changing the temporal dynamics of conflict processing. PLoS One. 8, e53894. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053894. Epub 2013 Jan 10.. Abstract
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Green, J. J., Gamble, M. L., Woldorff, M. G. (2013).  Resolving conflicting views: Gaze and arrow cues do not trigger rapid reflexive shifts of attention. Vis cogn. 21, 61-71.. Abstract
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2012
Appelbaum, L. G., Boehler, C. N., Won, R., Davis, L., Woldorff, M. G. (2012).  Strategic allocation of attention reduces temporally predictable stimulus conflict. J Cogn Neurosci. 24, 1834-48. Abstract
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Donohue, S. E., Liotti, M., Perez, R., 3rd, Woldorff, M. G. (2012).  Is conflict monitoring supramodal? Spatiotemporal dynamics of cognitive control processes in an auditory Stroop task. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. Abstract
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Krebs, R. M., Boehler, C. N., Zhang, H. H., Schoenfeld, M. A., Woldorff, M. G. (2012).  Electrophysiological recordings in humans reveal reduced location-specific attentional-shift activity prior to recentering saccades. J Neurophysiol. 107, 1393-402. Abstract
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Krebs, R. M., Boehler, C. N., Roberts, K. C., Song, A. W., Woldorff, M. G. (2012).  The Involvement of the Dopaminergic Midbrain and Cortico-Striatal-Thalamic Circuits in the Integration of Reward Prospect and Attentional Task Demands. Cereb Cortex. Abstract
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Boehler, C. N., Appelbaum, L. G., Krebs, R. M., Hopf, J. M., Woldorff, M. G. (2012).  The influence of different Stop-signal response time estimation procedures on behavior-behavior and brain-behavior correlations. Behav Brain Res. 229, 123-30. Abstract
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Green, J. J., Woldorff, M. G. (2012).  Arrow-elicited cueing effects at short intervals: Rapid attentional orienting or cue-target stimulus conflict?. Cognition. 122(1), 96-101. Abstract
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2011
Cabeza, R., Mazuz, Y. S., Stokes, J., Kragel, J. E., Woldorff, M. G., Ciaramelli, E., Olson, I. R., Moscovitch, M. (2011).  Overlapping parietal activity in memory and perception: evidence for the attention to memory model. J Cogn Neurosci. 23, 3209-17. Abstract
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Wu, C. T., Libertus, M. E., Meyerhoff, K. L., Woldorff, M. G. (2011).  The Temporal Dynamics of Object Processing in Visual Cortex during the Transition from Distributed to Focused Spatial Attention. J Cogn Neurosci. Abstract
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Krebs, R. M., Boehler, C. N., Egner, T., Woldorff, M. G. (2011).  The neural underpinnings of how reward associations can both guide and misguide attention. J Neurosci. 31, 9752-9. Abstract
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Donohue, S. E., Roberts, K. C., Grent-t-Jong, T., Woldorff, M. G. (2011).  The cross-modal spread of attention reveals differential constraints for the temporal and spatial linking of visual and auditory stimulus events. J Neurosci. 31, 7982-90. Abstract
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Wilson, B. S., Dorman, M. F., Woldorff, M. G., Tucci, D. L. (2011).  Cochlear implants matching the prosthesis to the brain and facilitating desired plastic changes in brain function. Prog Brain Res. 194, 117-29. Abstract
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Grent-'t-Jong T., Boehler C.N., Kenemans J.L., Woldorff M.G. (2011).  Differential Functional Roles of Slow-Wave and Oscillatory-Alpha Activity in Visual Sensory Cortex during Anticipatory Visual-Spatial Attention.. Cerebral Cortex. 21(10), 2204-2216. Abstract
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