Vincent Walsh

Vincent Walsh
University College London | UCL · Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

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230
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18,821
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Publications

Publications (230)
Article
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Introduction: Engaging in a secondary task while walking increases motor-cognitive interference and exacerbates fall risk in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Previous studies have demonstrated that Tai Chi (TC) may improve cognitive function and dual-task gait performance. Intriguingly, with emerging studies also indicating the po...
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Despite increasing growth of interest in transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), its underlying mechanisms are still unclear. With many claims based on the anodal-excitation and cathodal-inhibition dichotomy originally observed in the motor cortex, surprisingly few studies have examined these fundamental polarity-specific effects beyond the...
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The development of the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the study of psychological functions has entered a new phase of sophistication. This is largely due to an increasing physiological knowledge of its effects and to its being used in combination with other experimental techniques. This review presents the current state of our un...
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Use of non-invasive brain stimulation methods (NIBS) has become a common approach to study social processing in addition to behavioural, imaging and lesion studies. However, research using NIBS to investigate social processing faces challenges. Overcoming these is important to allow valid and reliable interpretation of findings in neurotypical coho...
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Previous studies have established a role for premotor cortex in the processing of auditory emotional vocalizations. Inhibitory continuous theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (cTBS) applied to right premotor cortex selectively increases the reaction time to a same-different task, implying a causal role for right ventral premotor cortex (PM...
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Aging adults typically show reduced ability to ignore task-irrelevant information, an essential skill for optimal performance in many cognitive operations, including those requiring working memory (WM) resources. In a first experiment, young and elderly human participants of both genders performed an established WM paradigm probing inhibitory abili...
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[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002262.].
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Author Summary The human brain has the ability to estimate the passage of time, which allows us to perform complex cognitive tasks such as playing music, dancing, and understanding speech. Scientists have just begun to understand which brain areas become active when we estimate time. However, it still remains a mystery how exactly the information a...
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One of the multiple interacting systems involved in the selection and execution of voluntary actions is the primary motor cortex (PMC). We aimed to investigate whether the transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of this area can modulate hand choice. A perceptual decision-making task was administered. Participants were asked to classify rect...
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Faces and voices, in isolation, prompt consistent social evaluations. However, most human interactions involve both seeing and talking with another person. Our main goal was to investigate how facial and vocal information are combined to reach an integrated person impression. In Study 1, we asked participants to rate faces and voices separately for...
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Mobile eye-tracking in external environments remains challenging, despite recent advances in eye-tracking software and hardware engineering. Many current methods fail to deal with the vast range of outdoor lighting conditions and the speed at which these can change. This confines experiments to artificial environments where conditions must be tight...
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Cognitive training aiming at improving learning is often successful, but what exactly underlies the observed improvements and how these differ across the age spectrum are currently unknown. Here we asked whether learning in young and older people may reflect enhanced ability to integrate information required to perform a cognitive task or whether i...
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Can subjective belief about one's own perceptual competence change one's perception? To address this question, we investigated the influence of self-efficacy on sensory discrimination in two low-level visual tasks: contrast and orientation discrimination. We utilised a pre-post manipulation approach whereby two experimental groups (high and low sel...
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Faces contain structural information, for identifying individuals, as well as changeable information, which can convey emotion and direct attention. Neuroimaging studies reveal brain regions that exhibit preferential responses to invariant [1 and 2] or changeable [3, 4 and 5] facial aspects but the functional connections between these regions are u...
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Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation method with many putative applications and reported to effectively modulate behaviour. However, its effects have yet to be considered at a computational level. To address this we modelled the tuning curves underlying the behavioural effects of stimulation in a percep...
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Human behavior depends crucially on the ability to interact with others and empathy has a critical role in enabling this to occur effectively. This can be an unconscious process and based on natural instinct and inner imitation (Montag et al., 2008) responding to observed and executed actions (Newman-Norlund et al., 2007). Motor empathy relating to...
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The ability to estimate durations varies across individuals. Although previous studies have reported that individual differences in perceptual skills and cognitive capacities are reflected in brain structures, it remains unknown whether timing abilities are also reflected in the brain anatomy. Here, we show that individual differences in the abilit...
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Synesthesia is a rare condition in which one property of a stimulus (e.g., shape) triggers a secondary percept (e.g., color) not typically associated with the first. Work on synesthesia has predominantly focused on confirming the authenticity of synesthetic experience, but much less research has been conducted to examine the extent to which synesth...
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Improvement in performance following cognitive training is known to be further enhanced when coupled with brain stimulation. Here we ask whether training-induced changes can be maintained long term and, crucially, whether they can extend to other related but untrained skills. We trained overall 40 human participants on a simple and well established...
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Adaptation is an automatic neural mechanism supporting the optimization of visual processing on the basis of previous experiences. While the short-term effects of adaptation on behaviour and physiology have been studied extensively, perceptual long-term changes associated with adaptation are still poorly understood. Here, we show that the integrati...
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Practice-dependent changes in brain structure can occur in task relevant brain regions as a result of extensive training in complex motor tasks and long-term cognitive training but little is known about the impact of visual perceptual learning on brain structure. Here we studied the effect of five days of visual perceptual learning in a motion-colo...
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People with synaesthesia not only have – by definition – unusual experiences (e.g., numbers triggering colour), they also have a different cognitive profile (e.g., in terms of their memory and perceptual abilities) and a bias towards certain interests and activities (e.g., towards the arts). However, virtually nothing is known about whether synaest...
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In delay discounting tasks, participants decide between receiving a certain amount of money now or a larger sum sometime in the future. This study investigated the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on delay discounting. Participants made delay discounting choices while receiving a bi-frontal stimulation of right-hemisphere anodal/l...
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Naturally, neuroscientists look at the brain from the outside when measuring how the flow of information unfolds over space and time. A neuron, on the other hand, can only 'see' through its connections, and they are spatiotemporally limited. Hence, the neural processing hierarchy from the neuroscientist's perspective and the hierarchy from the pers...
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Naturally, neuroscientists look at the brain from the outside when measuring how the flow of information unfolds over space and time. A neuron, on the other hand, can only 'see' through its connections, and they are spatiotemporally limited. Hence, the neural processing hierarchy from the neuroscientist's perspective and the hierarchy from the pers...
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The ratio of the length of the 2nd and 4th digits of the hand is an indicator of prenatal testosterone exposure and has been shown to be a within sex correlate of various abilities, such as visuo-spatial processing in men. However, a number of studies report such links also exist in women, whilst others show no link for either sex. Using a unique p...
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In recent years, we have witnessed the emergence of new techniques for studying the mechanisms that underlie perceptual and cognitive function in the human brain. An important contribution has come from the introduction of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS). The development of NIBS techniques to study perception and cognition constitutes a signi...
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Cortical regions that respond preferentially to particular object categories, such as faces and bodies, are essential for visual perception of these object categories. However, precisely when these regions play a causal role in recognition of their preferred categories is unclear. Here we addressed this question using transcranial magnetic stimulat...
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Head movement imposes the additional burdens on vision of maintaining visual-acuity and determining the origin of retinal image motion (ie, self-motion vs object-motion). Although maintaining visual acuity during self-motion is effected by minimising retinal slip via the brainstem vestibular-ocular reflex, higher-order visuo-vestibular mechanisms a...
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The limits of human visual short-term memory (VSTM) have been well documented, and recent neuroscientific studies suggest that VSTM performance is associated with activity in the posterior parietal cortex. Here we show that artificially elevating parietal activity via positively charged electric current through the skull can rapidly and effortlessl...
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Human brain stimulation for therapeutic purposes has many short- and long-term limitations. The possibility of implanting magnetic, rather than electrical, stimulation devices would present a possible solution to some of the problems. The development of a new microscopic magnetic stimulation device provides a glimpse of the realisation.
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Empathy is a multi-faceted concept consisting of our ability not only to share emotions but also to exert cognitive control and perspective taking in our interactions with others. Here we examined whether inter-individual variability in different components of empathy was related to differences in brain structure assessed using voxel-based morphome...
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Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been successfully applied to cortical areas such as the motor cortex and visual cortex. In the present study, we examined whether tDCS can reach and selectively modulate the excitability of the frontal eye field (FEF). In order to assess potential effects of tDCS, we measured saccade latency, landi...
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Cognitive training is an effective tool to improve a variety of cognitive functions, and a small number of studies have now shown that brain stimulation accompanying these training protocols can enhance their effects. In the domain of behavioral inhibition, little is known about how training can affect this skill. As for transcranial direct current...
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In the Simon task, a conflict arises because irrelevant spatial information competes for response selection either facilitating or interfering with performance. Responses are faster when stimulus and response position correspond than when they do not. The FEFs, which have long been characterized for their role in oculomotor control, are also involv...
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Head movement imposes the additional burdens on the visual system of maintaining visual acuity and determining the origin of retinal image motion (i.e., self-motion vs. object-motion). Although maintaining visual acuity during self-motion is effected by minimizing retinal slip via the brainstem vestibular-ocular reflex, higher order visuovestibular...
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A visual attention system should preferentially locate the most informative spots in complex environments. Feature-integration theory of attention plays an important role in bottom-up computational model for visual attention. This point extremely decreases the detection accuracy and also impacts the performance of the automatic visual attention mod...
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While the frontal eye fields (FEF) are traditionally associated with eye movements, recent work indicates possible roles in controlling selective visual processing. We applied 10 Hz bursts of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over left or right human FEF while subjects performed a partial-report task that allowed quantitative estimates of top...
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Increases in cortical volume associated with practice have been reported after extensive training in complex motor tasks and following long-term cognitive training (e.g.; learning how to juggle and many years of taxi driving). Recent findings suggest plastic processes occurring also on shorter time-scales and it is an open question whether practice...
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During priming of pop-out, performance at discriminating a pop-out feature target in visual search is affected by whether the target on the previous trial was defined by the same feature as on the upcoming trial. Recent studies suggest that priming of pop-out relies on attentional processes. With the use of simultaneous, combined transcranial magne...
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Stimulus inversion impairs face discrimination to a greater extent than discrimination of other non-face object categories. This finding has led to suggestions that upright faces are represented by mechanisms specialized for upright faces whereas inverted face representation depends on more general object recognition mechanisms. In the present stud...
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Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a noninvasive method of modulating cortical excitability. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of short-duration tDCS (1.6 seconds per trial) on memory performance, and whether the effects were affected by stimulation administered early or late in a trial. Participants memorize words...
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The human brain has remarkable capabilities for encoding and manipulating information about quantities. Understanding how the brain carries out such number and quantity processing is a problem not just for those interested in numerical cognition: it raises important questions that are relevant to understanding development, action, vision, language,...
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Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the occipital pole can produce an illusory percept of a light flash (or 'phosphene'), suggesting an excitatory effect. Whereas previous reported effects produced by single-pulse occipital pole TMS are typically disruptive, here we report the first demonstration of a location-specific facilitatory effect...
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Previous studies have claimed that weak transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) induces persisting activity changes in the human motor cortex and working memory, but to date no studies have evaluated the effects of tDCS on declarative memory. Our aim was to determine whether anodal and cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation would d...
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How numerical representation is encoded in the adult human brain is important for a basic understanding of human brain organization, its typical and atypical development, its evolutionary precursors, cognitive architectures, education, and rehabilitation. Previous studies have shown that numerical processing activates the same intraparietal regions...
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Imaging, lesion, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies have implicated a number of regions of the brain in searching for a target defined by a combination of attributes. The necessity of both frontal eye fields (FEF) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC) in task performance has been shown by the application of TMS over these regions. Th...
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Patients with bilateral vestibular failure (BVF) suffer from oscillopsia during head movements. This is secondary to the loss of the vestibulo-ocular reflex which is responsible for stabilising retinal images during head movements of high frequency or velocity. Previous studies documented decreased visual motion sensitivity in such patients at low...
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Oscillatory neuronal activities are commonly observed in response to sensory stimulation. However, their functional roles are still the subject of debate. One-way to probe the roles of oscillatory neural activities is to deliver alternating current to the cortex at biologically relevant frequencies and examine whether such stimulation influences pe...
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It is now well established that both procedural skills and episodic memories consolidate across periods of offline retention, and most particularly across periods of sleep. Such consolidation has been demonstrated to be more marked for emotional than for neutral episodes, but the interaction between emotionality and the offline consolidation of pro...
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Simulation models of expression recognition contend that to understand another's facial expressions, individuals map the perceived expression onto the same sensorimotor representations that are active during the experience of the perceived emotion. To investigate this view, the present study examines facial expression and identity recognition abili...
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Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have identified spatially distinct face-selective regions in human cortex. These regions have been linked together to form the components of a cortical network specialized for face perception but the cognitive operations performed in each region are not well understood. In this paper, we review t...
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It has been argued that both modality-specific and supramodal mechanisms dedicated to time perception underlie the estimation of interval durations. While it is generally assumed that early sensory areas are dedicated to modality-specific time estimation, we hypothesized that early sensory areas such as the primary visual cortex or the auditory cor...
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Conscious visual perception can fail in many circumstances. However, little is known about the causes and processes leading to failures of visual awareness. In this study, we introduce a new signal detection measure termed subjective discriminability of invisibility (SDI) that allows one to distinguish between subjective blindness due to reduction...