Attention Perception and Performance Lab

In the Attention Perception and Performance Lab we use and develop cutting edge cognitive neuroscience techniques to study the human brain in its natural habitat. We use EEG, ERPs, Psychophysics, Optical imaging, Electrical Stimulation, fMRI, and Neurofeedback to study human performance and perception in both laboratory tasks and also in real world activities like bike riding.

Ecologically Valid Cognitive Neuroscience

EEG Bike

We use bike riding as a model real world activity due to its low motion of the head and neck. We have a protocol to collect ERP’s in auditory oddball tasks during bike riding

Portable Experiments

We use miniaturized computers to produce well controlled experimental stimuli and send markers to the EEG systems. We use portable EEG systems able to fit in backpacks.

Brain Mechanisms of Attention

Pulsed Inhibition

We theorize that alpha oscillation represent a pulsating inhibitory mechanism of attention in the brain. We have found that awareness depends on the phase of ongoing alpha oscillations.


Flexible Electronics

Along with colleagues in materials science we design and test adhesive and flexible next generation EEG devices to increase portability.

Optical Brain Imaging

We use and develop systems to deliver near-infrared light into the human brain, and measure the resulting light to estimate neural activity using optical brain imaging.


Kyle E. Mathewson

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Departmental Website

Dr. Kyle Mathewson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Alberta. He is the director of the Attention, Perception, and Performance Lab (APPLab), and an affiliate with the Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute.

Graduate Students

Sarah Sheldon

Google Scholar

Sarah studies the neural correlates of attention and consciousness using EEG, neurostimulation, and neurofeedback

Daniel Robles

Daniel studies mobile EEG and also the relationship between attention and rewards

Jennifer Bertrand

Google Scholar

Jennifer is Co-supervised with Dr. Craig Chapman in the ACELab and studying the relationship between brain oscillations and perceptual decisions

Research Scientists

Jonathan Kuziek

Jonathan makes tiny computers play sounds and flash lights, hacks into EEG equipment, and records peoples brainwaves

Eden Redman

Eden creates miniature computers for experiments and measures peoples brain waves while they are in virtual worlds

Undergraduate Researchers

Abdel Tayem

Tayem encourages us all and measures peoples brain waves while they are in virtual worlds.

Lab Alumni

  • Joanna Scanlon, MSc (PhD Student at Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg)
  • Jonathan Kuzke, MSc (Research Scientist at Interaxon)
  • Graeme Splinter
  • Axita Seinh
  • Tyler Harrison
  • Tia McLean
  • Wesley Vuong
  • Ankur Banerjee
  • Chris Prudhomme
  • Jordan Ha
  • Gavin Owens
  • Stephen Pierzchajlos
  • Kimberley Townsend
  • Danielle Cormier
  • Alexandra Seiben
  • Emily Court
  • Shyvonne Aimoe
  • Kevin Holyk
  • Hayden Zimmer
  • Stuart Hoye
  • Cynthia Hui
  • Richard Besney
  • Xun Wang
  • Jojo Yorke
  • Kristine Ritchie
  • August Emford
  • Adam Miller



Visit the Google Scholar page for the most recent publications

  1. Vuong, W.*, Kizuk, S.A.D., MacLean, J., Dickson, C.T., & Mathewson, K.E. (in invited revision). Electrophysiological correlates of hypeoxia during resting-state EEG in awake human subjects. Psychophysiology.
  2. Tian, L.*, Zimmerman, B.*, Akhtar, A.*, Yu, K.J.*, Moore, M., Larson, R., Lee, J.W., Li, J., Liu, Y., Metzger, B., Qu, S., Wu, J., Guo, X., Mathewson, K.E., Fan, J.A., Cornman, J., Fatina, M., Xie, Z., Ma, Y., Zhang, J., Zhang, Y., Dolcos, F., Fabiani, M., Gratton, G., Bretl, T., Gargrove, L.J., Braun, P., Huang, Y., Rogers, J.A. (in press). Large-area MRI-compatible epidermal electronic interfaces for prosthetic control and cognitive monitoring. Natural Biomedical Engineering.
  3. La, T.-G., Qiu, S., Scott, D.K., Bakhtiari, R., Kuziek, J.W.P., Mathewson, K.E., Rieger, J., & Chung, H.-J. (in press). Two-Layered and Stretchable e-Textile Patches for Wearable Healthcare Electronics. Advanced Healthcare Materials.
  4. Kuziek, J.W.P., Redman, E.X., Splinter, G.D. & Mathewson, K.E. (in press). Increasing the Mobility of EEG Data Collection Using a Latte Panda Computer. Journal of Neuroscience Methods .
  5. Bertrand, J.K., Wispinski, N.J., Mathewson, K.E., & Chapman, C.S. (in press). Entrainment of theta, not alpha, oscillations predictive of the brightness enhancement of a flickering stimulus. Scientific Reports.
  6. Sheldon, S.S., & Mathewson, K.E. (in press). Does 10-Hz cathodal oscillating current of the parieto-occitial lobe modulate target detection? Frontiers in Perception Science.
  7. Mathewson, K.E. (in press). Duck Eats Rabbit: Exactly which type of relational phrase can disambiguate the perception of identical side by side ambiguous figures?. Perception.
  8. Scanlon, J.E.M., Townsend, K.A., Cormier, D.L., Kuziek, J.W.P, & Mathewson, K.E. (in press). Taking off the training wheels: Measuring auditory P3 during outdoor cycling using an active wet EEG system. Brain Research. bioRxiv. doi:  10.1101/157941
  9. Madan, C.R., Harrison, T., & Mathewson, K.E. (in press). Non-contact measurement of emotional and physiological changes in heart rate from a webcam. Psychophysiology.
  10. Kizuk, S.A.D., & Mathewson, K.E. (in press). Power and phase of alpha oscillations reveal an interaction between spatial and temporal visual attention. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.
  11. Scanlon, J.E.M, Sieben, A.J., Holyk, K.R., & Mathewson, K.E. (in press). Your brain on bikes: P3, MMN/N2b, and baseline noise while pedaling a stationary bike. Psychophysiology.
  12. Metzger, B.A., Mathewson, K.E., Tapia, E., Fabiani, M., Gratton, G., Beck, D.M. (in press). Regulating the access to awareness: Brain activity related to probe-related and spontaneous reversals in binocular rivalry. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.
  13. Seymour, J.L., Low, K.A., Maclin, E.L., Chiarelli, A.M., Mathewson, K.E., Fabiani, M., Gratton, G., & Dye, M.W.G. (in press). Reorganization of neural systems mediating peripheral visual selective attention in the deaf: An optical imaging study. Hearing Research.
  14. Kuziek, J.W.P, Shienh, A. & Mathewson K.E. (2017). Transitioning EEG Experiments Away From the Laboratory Using a Raspberry Pi 2. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 277, 75-82.
  15. Mathewson, K.E., Harrison, T.J.L., & Kizuk, S.A.D. (2017). High and dry? Comparing active dry EEG electrodes to active and passive wet electrodes. Psychophysiology, 54(1), 74-82.
  16. Chiarelli, A., Maclin, E., Low, K., Mathewson, K.E., Fabiani, M., Gratton, G. (2016). Combining energy and Laplacian regularization to accurately retrieve the depth of brain activity of diffuse optical tomographic data. Journal of Biomedical Optics, 21(3), 036008.
  17. Gaspar, J., Street, W., Windsor, M., Carbonari, R., Kaczmarski, H., Kramer, A.F., & Mathewson, K.E. (2014). Ameliorating the distracting effects of cell phone driving. Psychological Science, 25(12), 2136-2146.
  18. Jang, K.I., Han, S.Y., Xu, S., Mathewson, K.E., Zhang, Y., Jeong, J.W., Kim, G.T., Webb, R.C., Lee, J.W., Dawidczyk, T., Kim, R.H., Song, Y.M., Yeo, W.H., Kim, S., Cheng, H., Rhee, S.I., Chung, J., Kim, B., Chung, H.U., Lee, D., Yang, Y., Cho, M., Gaspar, J.G., Carbonari, R., Fabiani, M., Gratton, G., Huang, Y., & Rogers, J.A. (in press). Rugged and breathable forms of stretchable electronics with adherent, composite substrates for transcutaneous monitoring. Nature Communications.
  19. Jang, K.I., Han, S.Y., Xu, S., Mathewson, K.E., Zhang, Y., Jeong, J.W., Kim, G.T., Webb, R.C., Lee, J.W., Dawidczyk, T., Kim, R.H., Song, Y.M., Yeo, W.H., Kim, S., Cheng, H., Rhee, S.I., Chung, J., Kim, B., Chung, H.U., Lee, D., Yang, Y., Cho, M., Gaspar, J.G., Carbonari, R., Fabiani, M., Gratton, G., Huang, Y., & Rogers, J.A. (in press). Fabrication Procedure for Rugged and Breathable Forms of Stretchable Electronics with Adherent and Composite Substrates. Protocol Exchange.
  20. Mathewson, K.E., Beck, D.M., Ro, T., Maclin, E.L., Low, K.A., Fabiani, M., & Gratton, G. (in press). Dynamics of alpha control: Preparatory suppression of posterior alpha oscillations by frontal modulators revealed with combined EEG and event-related optical signal (EROS). Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.
  21. Xu, S.*, Zhang, Y. *, Jia, L. *, Mathewson, K.E. *, Jang, K.I., Kim, J.H., Fu, H., Huang, X., Chava, P., Wang, R., Bhole, S., Wang, L., Na, Y.J., Guan, Y., Flavin, M., Han, Z., Huang, Y., & Rogers, J.A. (2014). Soft microfluidic assemblies of sensors, circuits and radios for the skin. Science, 344(6179), 70-74. (*co-first author).
  22. Mathewson, K.E., Basak, C., Maclin, E.L., Low, K.A., Boot, W.R., Kramer, A.F., Fabiani, M., & Gratton, G. (2012). Different slopes for different folks: Alpha and Beta EEG power predict subsequent video game learning rate and secondary task improvement. Psychophysiology, 49, 1558-1570.
  23. Mathewson, K.E., Prudhomme, C., Fabiani, M., Beck, D.M., Lleras, A., & Gratton, G. (2012). Making waves in the stream of consciousness: Entraining oscillations in visual awareness and ongoing EEG alpha with rhythmic visual stimulation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24(12), 2321-2333.
  24. Zhu, L., Mathewson, K.E., & Hsu, M. (2012). Dissociable Neural Representations of Reinforcement and Belief Prediction Errors Underlie Strategic Learning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
  25. Jensen, M.S., & Mathewson, K.E. (2011). Simultaneous perception of both interpretations of ambiguous figures, Perception, 40(8), 1009-1011.
  26. Mathewson, K.E., Lleras, A., Beck, D.M., Fabiani, M., Ro, T., & Gratton, G. (2011). Pulsed out of awareness: EEG Alpha oscillations represent a pulsed inhibition of ongoing cortical processing, Frontiers in Perception Science, 2(99).
  27. Maclin, E., Mathewson, K.E., Low, K.A., Boot, W.R., Kramer, A.F., Fabiani, M., & Gratton, G. (2011). Learning to Multitask: Effects of video game practice on Electrophysiological indices of attention and resource allocation. Psychophysiology, 48(9), 1173-1183.
  28. Mathewson, K.E., Fabiani, M., Gratton, G., Beck, D.M., & Lleras, A. (2010). Rescuing stimuli from invisibility: Inducing a momentary release from visual masking with pre-target entrainment. Cognition, 115(1), 186-191.
  29. Mathewson, K.E., Gratton, G., Fabiani, M., Beck, D.M., & Ro, A. (2009). To see or not to see: Pre-stimulus alpha phase predicts visual awareness. The Journal of Neuroscience, 29(8), 2725-2732.