Systems & Behavioural Neuroscience

Bruce Milliken(Ph.D. - Waterloo)

Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1 - PC-414
PHONE: (905)525-9140, Ext. 24361 LAB: 27156
FAX: (905)-529-6225
EMAIL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

The aim of research conducted in our laboratory is to better understand processes that comprise the interface between perception and cognition in humans. Although these two subjects are often taught separately at the undergraduate level, even the simplest of interactions with our environment involve what must be a complex interplay between low level perceptual and higher level cognitive processes. In particular, visual selective attention is the focus of much of the research conducted in our lab.

This work looks at how selection of visual information can be both under the control of the observer, and yet also modulated implicitly by past experience. This fundamental theoretical issue plays itself out across a wide range of experimental scenarios. Currently, we are using several attentional paradigms (e.g. negative priming, inhibition of return) to help us identify mechanisms that allow us to respond preferentially to familiar over novel visual stimuli in some situations, but to novel over familiar visual stimuli in others. 

  • Torres-Quesada M, Milliken B, Lupiáñez J, Funes, MJ,  (in press).  Proportion congruent effects in the absence of sequential congruency effects: The same mechanism cannot explain both.  Psicologica
  • Shedden, J., Milliken, B., Watter, S. & Monteiro, S. (in press).  Event-related potentials as brain correlates of item specific proportion congruent effects. Consciousness & Cognition.
  • Lapointe, M., Lupiáñez, J. & Milliken, B.   (2013).  Context congruency effects in change detection: Opposing effects on detection and identification.  Visual Cognition, 21, 99-122.
  • Thomson, D. & D’Ascenzo, M. & Milliken, B.  (2013).  Learning what to expect: Context-specific control over intertribal priming effects in singleton search.  Memory & Cognition, 41,533-546.
  • Spadaro, A. & Milliken, B.  (2013).  Subjective expectancy and inhibition of return: A dissociation in a non-spatial two-alternative forced choice task.  Psicologica, 34, 199-219.
  • Fiacconi, C. & Milliken, B.  (2013).  Visual memory for feature bindings: The disruptive effect of responding to new perceptual input.  Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology  (Online First Publication Jan 4, 2013. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2012.753925).
  • D’Angelo, M.C., Milliken, B., Jiménez, L. & Lupiáñez, J.  (2013).  Implementing flexibility in automaticity: Evidence from context-specific implicit sequence learning.  Consciousness and Cognition, 22, 64-81.
  • D’Angelo, M., Jimenez, L., Milliken, B., & Lupiáñez, J.  (2013).  On the specificity of sequential congruency effects in implicit learning of motor and perceptual sequences.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition, 39, 69-84.
  • Thomson, D.R. & Milliken, B.  (2013).  Contextual distinctiveness produces long-lasting priming of popout.   Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 39, 202-215.
  • Thomson, D. & Milliken, B.  (2012).  Revisiting the time course of inter-trial feature priming in singleton search.  Psychological Research.  (Online First Publication September 2012.  doi: 10.1007/s00426-012-0455-7).
  • Cañadas, E., Rodríguez-Bailón, R., Milliken, B. & Lupiáñez, J.  (2012).  Social categories as a context for the allocation of attentional control.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: General  (Online First Publication Aug 20, 2012. doi: 10.1037/a0029794).
  • Fiacconi, C. & Milliken, B.  (2012).  Contingency blindness:  Location-idenitty binding mismatches abscure awareness of spatial contingencies and produce profound interference in visual working memory.  Memory & Cognition, 40, 932-945.
  • Sarmiento, B.R., Shore, D.I., Milliken, B. & Sanabria, D.  (2012).  Audiovisual interactions depend on context of congruency.  Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 74, 563-574.
  • Thomson, D. & Milliken, B.  (2012).  Perceptual distinctiveness produces long-lasting priming of popout.  Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 19, 170-176.
  • D’Angelo, M. & Milliken, B.  (2012).  Context-specific control and the single prime negative priming procedure.  Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 65, 887-910.
  • Spadaro, A., He, C. & Milliken, B.  (2012).  Response to an intervening event reverses non-spatial repetition effects in 2-AFC tasks: Non-spatial IOR?  Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 74, 331-349.
  • Milliken, B., Thomson, D., Bleile, K., MacLellan, E. & Giammarco, M.  (2012).  Context-specific control and the Stroop negative priming effect.  Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65, 1430-1448.
  • Fiacconi, C. & Milliken, B.  (2011).  On the role of attention in generating explicit awareness of contingent relations: Evidence from spatial priming.  Consciousness & Cognition, 20, 1433-1451.
  • Thomson, D. & Milliken, B.  (2011).  A switch in task affects priming of popout: Evidence for the role of episodes.  Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 73, 318-333.
  • Leboe, J., Leboe, L., & Milliken, B.  (2010).  Constraints on the observation of partial match costs: Implications for transfer appropriate processing approaches to immediate priming.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 36, 634-648.
  • Vaquero, J., Fiacconi, C. & Milliken, B.   (2010).  Attention, awareness and control in spatial localization: A qualitative difference approach.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 36, 1342-1357.
  • Thomson, D., Milliken, B., & Smilek, D.  (2010).  Long-term conceptually-driven implicit memory: A decade of evidence.  Memory &Cognition, 38, 42-46.
  • Crump, M.J., & Milliken, B.  (2009).  The flexibility of context-specific control: Evidence for context-driven generalization of item-specific control settings.  Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62, 1523-1532.
  • Crump, M., Ansari, I. & Milliken, B.  (2008).  Shifting views on the symbolic cueing effect:  Cueing attention through previous experience. Psicologica, 29, 65-95.
  • Funes, M.J., Lupianez, J. & Milliken, B.  (2008).  The modulation of exogenous spatial cueing on spatial Stroop interference: Evidence of a set for “cue-target event segregation”.  Psicologica, 29, 65-95.
  • Crump, M., Vaquero, J., & Milliken, B.  (2008).  Context specific learning and control: The role of awareness, task relevance, and relative salience.  Consciousness & Cognition, 17, 22-36.
  • Funes, M.J., Lupianez, J. & Milliken, B.   (2007).  Separate mechanisms recruited by exogenous and endogenous spatial cues: Evidence from a Spatial Stroop paradigm.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 33, 348-362.
  • Lupianez, B., Ruz, M., Funes, M.J., & Milliken, B.  (2007).  The manifestation of IOR depends on attentional capture: Facilitation or IOR depends on task demands.   Psychological Research, 71, 77-91.
  • Milliken, B. & Lupianez, J.  (2007).  Repetition costs in word identification.  Evaluating a stimulus-response integration account.  Psychological Research, 71, 64-76.
  • Crump, M., Gong, Z. & Milliken, B.  (2006).  Location as a contextual cue for the item-specific proportion congruent effect.  Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 13, 316-321.
  • Catena, A., Castillo, A., Fuentes, L., & Milliken, B.  (2006).  Processing of distractors inside and outside the attentional focus in a priming procedure.  Visual Cognition, 13, 601-622.


Contact Department

Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (PNB)
Psychology Building (PC), Room 102
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton Ontario L8S 4K1