Marty G. Woldorff

Marty G. Woldorff

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of California at San Diego 1989

  • B.A., University of California at Berkeley 1978


Dr. Woldorff's main research interest is in the cognitive neuroscience of attention. At each and every moment of our lives, we are bombarded by a welter of sensory information coming at us from a myriad of directions and through our various sensory modalities -- much more than we can fully process. We must continuously select and extract the most important information from this welter of sensory inputs. How the human brain accomplishes this is one of the core challenges of modern cognitive neuroscience. Dr. Woldorff uses a combination of electrophysiological (ERP, MEG) and functional neuroimaging (fMRI) methods to study the time course, functional neuroanatomy, and mechanisms of attentional processes. This multimethodological approach is directed along several main lines of research: (1) The influence of attention on sensory and perceptual processing; (2) Cognitive and attentional control mechanisms; (3) The role of attention in multisensory environments; (4) The interactive relationship between attention and reward; and (5) The role of attention in perceptual awareness.


Attention, Perception, Cognitive Control, Perceptual Awareness, EEG, ERP, fMRI, Cognitive Neuroscience

Harris, JA, Donohue, SE, Ilse, A, Ariel Schoenfeld, M, Heinze, H-J, and Woldorff, MG. "EEG measures of brain activity reveal that smoking-related images capture the attention of smokers outside of awareness." Neuropsychologia 111 (March 2018): 324-333. Full Text

Fornaciai, M, Brannon, EM, Woldorff, MG, and Park, J. "Numerosity processing in early visual cortex." NeuroImage 157 (August 2017): 429-438. Full Text

Green, JJ, Boehler, CN, Roberts, KC, Chen, L-C, Krebs, RM, Song, AW, and Woldorff, MG. "Cortical and Subcortical Coordination of Visual Spatial Attention Revealed by Simultaneous EEG-fMRI Recording." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 37.33 (August 2017): 7803-7810. Full Text

Giattino, CM, Alam, ZM, and Woldorff, MG. "Neural processes underlying the orienting of attention without awareness." Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior (July 22, 2017). Full Text

Park, J, van den Berg, B, Chiang, C, Woldorff, MG, and Brannon, EM. "Developmental trajectory of neural specialization for letter and number visual processing." Developmental science (July 5, 2017). Full Text

Geib, BR, Stanley, ML, Dennis, NA, Woldorff, MG, and Cabeza, R. "From hippocampus to whole-brain: The role of integrative processing in episodic memory retrieval." Human brain mapping 38.4 (April 2017): 2242-2259. Full Text

McKay, CC, van den Berg, B, and Woldorff, MG. "Neural cascade of conflict processing: Not just time-on-task." Neuropsychologia 96 (February 2017): 184-191. Full Text

Giattino, CM, Gardner, JE, Sbahi, FM, Roberts, KC, Cooter, M, Moretti, E, Browndyke, JN, Mathew, JP, Woldorff, MG, Berger, M, and MADCO-PC Investigators, . "Intraoperative Frontal Alpha-Band Power Correlates with Preoperative Neurocognitive Function in Older Adults." Frontiers in systems neuroscience 11 (January 2017): 24-. Full Text Open Access Copy

Donohue, SE, Woldorff, MG, Hopf, J-M, Harris, JA, Heinze, H-J, and Schoenfeld, MA. "An electrophysiological dissociation of craving and stimulus-dependent attentional capture in smokers." Cognitive, affective & behavioral neuroscience 16.6 (December 2016): 1114-1126. Full Text

van den Berg, B, Appelbaum, LG, Clark, K, Lorist, MM, and Woldorff, MG. "Visual search performance is predicted by both prestimulus and poststimulus electrical brain activity." Scientific reports 6 (November 30, 2016): 37718-. Full Text Open Access Copy


Selected Grants

Bilateral Brain Dynamics Supporting Cognition in Normal Aging and Dementia awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2017 to 2021

Cortical tracking of speech-specific temporal structure in familiar vs. foreign speech awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2018 to 2021

Physical Resiliencies: Indicators and Mechanisms in the Elderly Collaborative awarded by National Institutes of Health (Investigator). 2017 to 2019

Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Memory Reactivation awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2019

The Modulatory Role of Reward on Attentional Brain Processes awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2006 to 2018

Path Toward MRI with Direct Sensitivity to Neuro-Electro-Magnetic Oscillations awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2014 to 2018

A Compute Cluster for Brain Imaging and Analysis awarded by National Institutes of Health (Minor User). 2016 to 2017

Improving Math Ability via Primitive Number Sense Training awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2014 to 2015

Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Cortical Neuronal Activity awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2010 to 2015