Dr Alex Provost

Dr Alex Provost

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

School of Psychology

Career Summary

Biography

I am an early career researcher (PhD in 2015) working as a post-doctoral researcher in the School of Psychology. In my PhD I investigated changes in neural activity related to learning in spatial cognition using behavioural and neural evidence,developing evidence for two routes to expertise in mental rotation. This research took advantage of a well established neural marker of mental rotation, the rotation related negativity, to show increased or decreased mental rotation usage as a function of task demands. Working with my primary supervisor, Professor Andrew Heathcote, we published a cognitive model of mental rotation. Fitting both response times and errors with the linear ballistic accumulator (LBA) framework, our stage model of mental rotation showed mental rotation takes a variable amount of time with a mean and variance that increases linearly with rotation angle. Following this I worked with Professor Scott Brown and Dr Don van Ravenzwaaij on a project to jointly model the behavioural and neural data from this experiment, testing different linking assumptions between the two data streams. I presented some of this work during an invited symposium on joint modeling at the International Conference of Cognitive Neuroscientists (ICON-2014).

I have worked in the Functional Neuroimaging Lab in some capacity since 2007, completing Honours with A/Prof. Frini Karayanidis. In addition, I have worked with numerous researchers on topic such as cognitive and motor inhibition, pre-pulse inhibition, affective cognition and auditory processing. Currently, I am working as a post-doctoral research fellow investigating auditory processing with A/Prof. Juanita Todd. In this role I have a role in supervision, training and mentoring of Honours students and PhD students. I have 12 publications, including 2 first author, in international peer-reviewed journals and have presented both oral and posters at domestic and international conferences.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Cognitive Control
  • EEG
  • MMN
  • Mental Rotation
  • Mismatch Negativity

Languages

  • English (Mother)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
170112 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance 40
170205 Neurocognitive Patterns and Neural Networks 40
170202 Decision Making 20

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Casual Academic University of Newcastle
School of Psychology
Australia
Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Newcastle
School of Psychology
Australia
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (14 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Mullens D, Winkler I, Damaso K, Heathcote A, Whitson L, Provost A, Todd J, 'Biased relevance filtering in the auditory system: A test of confidence-weighted first-impressions.', Biol Psychol, 115 101-111 (2016)
DOI 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2016.01.018
Co-authors Andrew Heathcote, Juanita Todd
2016 Frost JD, Winkler I, Provost A, Todd J, 'Surprising sequential effects on MMN.', Biol Psychol, 116 47-56 (2016)
DOI 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2015.10.005
Citations Scopus - 2
Co-authors Juanita Todd
2015 Provost A, Heathcote A, 'Titrating Decision Processes in the Mental Rotation Task', Psychological Review, (2015)

© 2015 APA, all rights reserved). Shepard and Metzler's (1971) seminal mental-rotation task-which requires participants to decide if 1 object is a rotated version of another or i... [more]

© 2015 APA, all rights reserved). Shepard and Metzler's (1971) seminal mental-rotation task-which requires participants to decide if 1 object is a rotated version of another or its mirror image-has played a central role in the study of spatial cognition. We provide the first quantitative model of behavior in this task that is comprehensive in the sense of simultaneously providing an account of both error rates and the full distribution of response times. We used Brown and Heathcote's (2008) model of choice processing to separate out the contributions of mental rotation and decision stages. This model-based titration process was applied to data from a paradigm where converging evidence supported performance being based on rotation rather than other strategies. Stimuli were similar to Shepard and Metzler's block figures except a long major axis made rotation angle well defined for mirror stimuli, enabling comprehensive modeling of both mirror and normal responses. Results supported a mental rotation stage based on Larsen's (2014) model, where rotation takes a variable amount of time with a mean and variance that increase linearly with rotation angle. Differences in response threshold differences were largely responsible for mirror responses being slowed, and for errors increasing with rotation angle for some participants. (PsycINFO Database Record

DOI 10.1037/a0039706
Co-authors Andrew Heathcote
2014 Mullens D, Woodley J, Whitson L, Provost A, Heathcote A, Winkler I, Todd J, 'Altering the primacy bias-How does a prior task affect mismatch negativity?', PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY, 51 437-445 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/psyp.12190
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Andrew Heathcote, Juanita Todd
2014 Todd J, Heathcote A, Mullens D, Whitson LR, Provost A, Winkler I, 'What controls gain in gain control? Mismatch negativity (MMN), priors and system biases', Brain Topography, 27 578-589 (2014) [C1]

Repetitious patterns enable the auditory system to form prediction models specifying the most likely characteristics of subsequent sounds. Pattern deviations elicit mismatch negat... [more]

Repetitious patterns enable the auditory system to form prediction models specifying the most likely characteristics of subsequent sounds. Pattern deviations elicit mismatch negativity (MMN), the amplitude of which is modulated by the size of the deviation and confidence in the model. Todd et al. (Neuropsychologia 49:3399-3405, 2011; J Neurophysiol 109:99-105, 2013) demonstrated that a multi-timescale sequence reveals a bias that profoundly distorts the impact of local sound statistics on the MMN amplitude. Two sounds alternate roles as repetitious "standard" and rare "deviant" rapidly (every 0.8 min) or slowly (every 2.4 min). The bias manifests as larger MMN to the sound first encountered as deviant in slow compared to fast changing sequences, but no difference for the sound first encountered as a standard. We propose that the bias is due to how Bayesian priors shape filters of sound relevance. By examining the time-course of change in MMN amplitude we show that the bias manifests immediately after roles change but rapidly disappears thereafter. The bias was reflected in the response to deviant sounds only (not in response to standards), consistent with precision estimates extracted from second order patterns modulating gain differentially for the two sounds. Evoked responses to deviants suggest that pattern extraction and reactivation of priors can operate over tens of minutes or longer. Both MMN and deviant responses establish that: (1) priors are defined by the most proximally encountered probability distribution when one exists but; (2) when no prior exists, one is instantiated by sequence onset characteristics; and (3) priors require context interruption to be updated. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media.

DOI 10.1007/s10548-013-0344-4
Citations Scopus - 4Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Andrew Heathcote, Juanita Todd
2014 Todd J, Heathcote A, Whitson LR, Mullens D, Provost A, Winkler I, 'Mismatch negativity (MMN) to pitch change is susceptible to order-dependent bias.', Front Neurosci, 8 180 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.3389/fnins.2014.00180
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Andrew Heathcote, Juanita Todd
2014 Whitson LR, Karayanidis F, Fulham R, Provost A, Michie PT, Heathcote A, Hsieh S, 'Reactive control processes contributing to residual switch cost and mixing cost across the adult lifespan.', Front Psychol, 5 383 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00383
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Andrew Heathcote, Pat Michie, Frini Karayanidis
2013 Todd J, Provost A, Whitson LR, Cooper G, Heathcote A, 'Not so primitive: context-sensitive meta-learning about unattended sound sequences', JOURNAL OF NEUROPHYSIOLOGY, 109 99-105 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1152/jn.00581.2012
Citations Scopus - 9Web of Science - 7
Co-authors Andrew Heathcote, Juanita Todd
2013 Smith JL, Jamadar S, Provost AL, Michie PT, 'Motor and non-motor inhibition in the Go/NoGo task: An ERP and fMRI study', International Journal of Psychophysiology, 87 244-253 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2012.07.185
Citations Scopus - 22Web of Science - 18
Co-authors Pat Michie
2013 Provost A, Johnson B, Karayanidis F, Brown SD, Heathcote A, 'Two Routes to Expertise in Mental Rotation', COGNITIVE SCIENCE, 37 1321-1342 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/cogs.12042
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Scott Brown, Andrew Heathcote, Frini Karayanidis
2011 Todd J, Provost AL, Cooper GJ, 'Lasting first impressions: A conservative bias in automatic filters of the acoustic environment', Neuropsychologia, 49 3399-3405 (2011) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.08.016
Citations Scopus - 12Web of Science - 9
Co-authors Juanita Todd
2011 Karayanidis F, Provost AL, Brown SD, Paton BK, Heathcote AJ, 'Switch-specific and general preparation map onto different ERP components in a task-switching paradigm', Psychophysiology, 48 559-568 (2011) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2010.01115.x
Citations Scopus - 27Web of Science - 23
Co-authors Andrew Heathcote, Frini Karayanidis, Bryan Paton, Scott Brown
2010 Smith JL, Walsh EA, Provost AL, Heathcote AJ, 'Sequence effects support the conflict theory of N2 and P3 in the Go/NoGo task', International Journal of Psychophysiology, 75 217-226 (2010) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2009.11.002
Citations Scopus - 36Web of Science - 31
Co-authors Andrew Heathcote
2009 Karayanidis F, Mansfield EL, Galloway KL, Smith JL, Provost AL, Heathcote AJ, 'Anticipatory reconfiguration elicited by fully and partially informative cues that validly predict a switch in task', Cognitive Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, 9 202-215 (2009) [C1]
DOI 10.3758/cabn.9.2.202
Citations Scopus - 39Web of Science - 35
Co-authors Elise Mansfield, Frini Karayanidis, Andrew Heathcote
Show 11 more journal articles

Conference (16 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2013 Alexander P, Bryan P, Frini K, Scott B, Andrew H, 'Using Orthogonal Polynomial Trend Analysis and Wavelet decomposition (WOPTA) to investigate learning in a Mental Rotation task', Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (2013) [E3]
DOI 10.3389/conf.fnhum.2013.212.00139
Co-authors Scott Brown, Andrew Heathcote, Frini Karayanidis
2013 Todd J, Mullens D, Damasio K, Whitson LR, Provost A, Heathcote A, Winkler I, 'BREAKING DOWN BIAS', PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY (2013) [E3]
Co-authors Juanita Todd, Andrew Heathcote
2012 Provost AL, Heathcote AJ, Brown SD, Jamadar S, Karayanidis F, 'Sustained target-driven interference under optimal preparation in a cued task switching paradigm using orthogonal polynomial trend analysis (OPTA)', Front. Hum. Neurosci. Conference Abstract: ACNS-2012 Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Conference (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Scott Brown, Andrew Heathcote, Frini Karayanidis
2012 Todd J, Provost A, Whitson L, Cooper G, Heathcote A, 'AUTOMATIC LEARNING BIASES: ASYMMETRICAL SAMPLING OF EVENT-PROBABILITY IN THE UNATTENDED AUDITORY ENVIRONMENT', PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Juanita Todd, Andrew Heathcote
2012 Provost AL, Heathcote AJ, Whitson LR, Cooper GJ, Todd J, 'Automatic learning biases: Asymmetrical sampling of event-probability in the unattended auditory environment', Psychophysiology (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Andrew Heathcote, Juanita Todd
2012 Provost AL, Johnson B, Karayanidis F, Brown SD, Heathcote AJ, 'Converging behavioural and psychophysiological evidence of two routes to expertise in mental rotation', Psychophysiology (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Scott Brown, Andrew Heathcote, Frini Karayanidis
2012 Todd J, Mullens D, Woodley J, Whitson LR, Provost AL, Cooper GJ, Heathcote AJ, 'When learning gets stuck: An automatic bias that alters probability sampling in the unattended auditory environment', International Journal of Psychophysiology (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Juanita Todd, Andrew Heathcote
2010 Provost AL, Johnson B, Brown SD, Heathcote AJ, 'Brain acitivity associated with extensive practice in a mental rotation task', Clinical EEG and Neuroscience (2010) [E3]
Co-authors Scott Brown, Andrew Heathcote
2010 Karayanidis F, Provost AL, Jamadar S, Brown SD, Paton BK, Heathcote AJ, 'Identification of ERP components underlying task-switching performance using variation across the RT distribution', Clinical EEG and Neuroscience (2010) [E3]
Co-authors Andrew Heathcote, Bryan Paton, Scott Brown, Frini Karayanidis
2010 Jamadar S, Provost AL, Fulham WR, Michie PT, Karayanidis F, 'Multiple sources underlie ERP indices of task-switching', ASCS09: Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science (2010) [E1]
DOI 10.5096/ASCS200924
Co-authors Frini Karayanidis, Pat Michie
2010 Karayanidis F, Provost AL, Brown SD, Paton B, Heathcote AJ, 'Using variability in RT distribution to identify functional significance of ERP components in taskswitching paradigm', Combined Abstracts of 2010 Australian Psychology Conferences (2010) [E3]
Co-authors Andrew Heathcote, Scott Brown, Frini Karayanidis
2010 Provost AL, Johnson B, Brown SD, Heathcote AJ, 'Activity associated with extensive practice in a mental rotation task: Evidence for different strategies', Combined Abstracts of 2010 Australian Psychology Conferences (2010) [E3]
Co-authors Scott Brown, Andrew Heathcote
2010 Campbell LE, Fulham WR, Hughes M, Provost AL, Hanlon M-C, Karayanidis F, et al., 'Functional magnetic resonance brain imaging study on sensorimotoe gating in schizophrenia and parkinson's disease', Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry (2010) [E3]
Co-authors Frini Karayanidis, Linda E Campbell, Mary-Claire Hanlon, Bill Budd, Ulrich Schall, Bryan Paton
2008 Provost AL, Heathcote AJ, Brown SD, Paton BK, Karayanidis F, 'Integrating RT distribution analysis and ERPs associated with task switching', Clinical EEG and Neuroscience (2008) [E3]
Co-authors Scott Brown, Andrew Heathcote, Bryan Paton, Frini Karayanidis
2008 Karayanidis F, Heathcote AJ, Provost AL, Sanday D, Jamadar S, 'Strategic and decision processes in task-switching: Integrating behavioral and ERP measures', Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (2008) [E3]
Co-authors Frini Karayanidis, Andrew Heathcote
2008 Campbell LE, Fulham WR, Hughes ME, Provost AL, Budd TW, Johnston PJ, et al., 'Multimodel assessment of auditory prepulse inhibition in Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry (2008) [E3]
Co-authors Linda E Campbell, Mary-Claire Hanlon, Bill Budd, Frini Karayanidis, Ulrich Schall
Show 13 more conferences
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 1
Total funding $4,500

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20151 grants / $4,500

The effect of perceptual load on auditory behavioural distraction $4,500

Funding body: Keats Endowment Research Fund

Funding body Keats Endowment Research Fund
Project Team Doctor Alex Provost, Miss Karlye Damaso, Associate Professor Juanita Todd
Scheme Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo G1501541
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG
UON Y
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Dr Alex Provost

Positions

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
School of Psychology
Faculty of Science and Information Technology

Casual Academic
School of Psychology
Faculty of Science and Information Technology

Research Assistant
School of Psychology
Faculty of Science and Information Technology

Casual Research Assistant
School of Psychology
Faculty of Science and Information Technology

Contact Details

Email alexander.provost@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 49138099

Office

Room W/251
Building Behavioural Sciences
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