ZiF Research Group

Cognitive Behavior of Humans, Animals, and Machines:

Situation Model Perspectives

October 2019 – July 2020

Convenors: Werner Schneider (Bielefeld, GER), Helge Ritter (Bielefeld, GER)

Anna M. Liesefeld

Associate Fellow

Foto General and Experimental Psychology,
Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany
E-Mail: anna.liesefeld@psy.lmu.de


Anna Liesefeld (neé Arend) studied Psychology at Saarland University (UdS) and earned her "Diplom" in 2008 with an EEG study on visual long-term memory supervised by Hubert D. Zimmer. Hubert also supervised her PhD thesis on training of distractor filtering in visual working memory and its electrophysiological correlates (PhD awarded in 2013). After a short postdoc period at UdS (visual working and long-term memory, using EEG and fMRI), she moved to the lab of Hermann J. Müller at Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich (LMU), employing EEG and psychophysics to study visual search and visual working memory.

Current Main Research Interests

Anna examines the cognitive control mechanisms for filtering out the massive influx of irrelevant visual information in order to focus limited resources on relevant objects. During her PhD, she noticed a lack of theoretical foundations in research on distraction of visual working memory (VWM) and figured that these may be found in the well-developed research on visual search. She therefore took up a position with Hermann J. Müller, one of the internationally leading experts on visual search. After coming back from maternity leave in October 2019, she will continue applying her acquired knowledge on visual search to further the understanding of how executive control –including its underlying (frontal) neuro-cognitive mechanisms –supports the selective processing of information in VWM. This endeavor will rely mainly on psychophysics, EEG (including advanced analysis techniques such as time-frequency decomposition and multivariate pattern analysis), and fMRI (using a newly built, research-dedicated scanner).

Five selected publications with particular relevance to the Research Group
  • Liesefeld, H. R., Liesefeld, A. M., & Müller, H. J. (2019). Distractor-interference reduction is dimensionally constrained. Visual Cognition. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/13506285.2018.1561568
  • Liesefeld, H. R., Liesefeld, A. M., Müller, H. J., & Rangelov, D. (2017). Saliency maps for finding changes in visual scenes? Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 79, 2190-2201. doi:10.3758/s13414-017-1383-9
  • Liesefeld*, A. M., Liesefeld*, H. R., & Zimmer, H. D. (2014). Intercommunication between prefrontal and posterior brain regions for protecting visual working memory from distractor interference. Psychological Science, 25, 325-333. doi:10.1177/0956797613501170
    *contributed equally
  • Arend, A. M., & Zimmer, H. D. (2012). Successful training of filtering mechanisms in multiple object tracking does not transfer to filtering mechanisms in a visual working memory task: Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence. Neuropsychologia, 50, 2379-2388. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.06.007
  • Arend, A. M., & Zimmer, H. D. (2011). What does ipsilateral delay activity reflect? Inferences from slow potentials in a lateralized visual working memory task. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 4048-4056. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00068