Michael Posner

Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology
Member, ION

Ph.D. University of Michigan
M.S. University of Washington
B.S. University of Washington

Lab Website
Office: 433 Straub
Phone: 541-346-4939


Research Interests: Cognitive-Neuroscience; Neural mechanisms and structures underlying selective attention

Overview: Michael Posner is Professor Emeritus at the University of Oregon and Adjunct Professor at the Weill Medical College in New York (Sackler Institute).

Dr. Posner's current work deals with genetic and experiential factors in the development of brain networks underlying attention and learning. We are currently examining how changes in white matter might contribute to improved performance.  In one study conducted together with the Niell lab we are imposing a theta rhythm on cells in the anterior cingulate of the mouse and examining whether the resultant activity leads to improved myelination in pathways near the cingulate.   We are also examining if epigenetic factors related to methylation might account for individual differences in this process.


Related Articles

Controlling Fear Over the Lifespan.

Am J Psychiatry. 2019 Dec 01;176(12):974-975

Authors: Posner MI, Rothbart MK

PMID: 31787010 [PubMed - in process]

Related Articles

Illuminating the Neural Circuits Underlying Orienting of Attention.

Vision (Basel). 2019 Jan 24;3(1):

Authors: Posner MI, Niell CM

Human neuroimaging has revealed brain networks involving frontal and parietal cortical areas as well as subcortical areas, including the superior colliculus and pulvinar, which are involved in orienting to sensory stimuli. Because accumulating evidence points to similarities between both overt and covert orienting in humans and other animals, we propose that it is now feasible, using animal models, to move beyond these large-scale networks to address the local networks and cell types that mediate orienting of attention. In this opinion piece, we discuss optogenetic and related methods for testing the pathways involved, and obstacles to carrying out such tests in rodent and monkey populations.

PMID: 31735805 [PubMed]