Nancy Carlisle


My research focuses on the top-down control of our visual attention, used to avoid us being driven solely by bottom-up information coming into the visual system. When we know what we are looking for, we create a search template, as James (1890) states “an imaginary duplicate of the object in mind.” By knowing what we are looking for, we can bias our visual system to select information in the environment that matches this template. In my work, I use behavioral, eyetracking, computational modeling, and electrophysiological techniques in order to address questions about attentional control.

I am also interested in working memory.  My interest includes both how working memory is utilized in attentional control, and as a separate selective cognitive process that shares many characteristics of attention.

Selected Publications

Judah, M.R., Grant, D.M., & Carlisle, N.B. (in press). The effects of self-focus on attentional biases in social anxiety: An ERP study. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience.

Reinhart, R., Carlisle, N.B., & Woodman, G.F. (2014). Visual working memory gives up attentional control early in learning: Ruling out inter-hemispheric cancellation. Psychophysiology, 51(8), 800-804.

Carlisle, N.B. & Woodman, G.F. (2013). Reconciling conflicting electrophysiological findings on the guidance of attention by working memory. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 75(7), 1330-1335.

Woodman, G.F., Carlisle, N.B., & Reinhart, R.M.G. (2013). Where do we store the representations that guide attention? Journal of Vision, 13(3), 1-17.

Williams, M., Hong, S.W., Kang, M.-S., Carlisle, N.B., & Woodman, G.F. (2013). The benefit of forgetting. Psych Bulletin and Review, 20(2), 348-355.

Arita, J.T., Carlisle, N.B., & Woodman, G.F. (2012). Templates for rejection: Configuring attention to ignore task-irrelevant features. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38(3), 580-584.

Carlisle, N.B., Arita, J.T., Pardo, D., & Woodman, G.F. (2011). Attentional templates in visual working memory. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(25), 9315-9322.

Carlisle, N.B. & Woodman, G.F. (2011). When memory is not enough: Electrophysiological evidence for goal-dependent use of working memory representations in guiding visual attention. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23(10), 2650-2664.

Carlisle, N.B. & Woodman, G.F. (2011). Automatic and strategic effects in the guidance of attention by working memory representations. Acta Psychologica, 137(2), 217-225.

Nancy Carlisle Lehigh University Department of Psychology
Assistant Professor
310 Chandler-Ullmann Hall
Vanderbilt University, Ph.D., 2011, Psychology
Michigan State University, B.S., 2005, Zoology & Psychology

Teaching Interests: 

Cognitive Psychology
Cognitive Neuroscience
Research Methods and Statistics
Introduction to Psychology