Marty G. Woldorff

Marty G. Woldorff

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

External Address: 
B243b LSRC, Ctr. for Cog. Neuroscience, Durham, NC 27708-0999
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90999, Ctr. for Cog. Neuroscience, Durham, NC 27708-0999


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.

Education & Training

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

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

Selected Grants

Neurobiology Training Program awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2019 to 2024

Elucidating mechanisms underlying fluctuations of sustained attention and their influence on memory awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Sponsor). 2020 to 2023

Cortical tracking of speech-specific temporal structure in familiar vs. foreign awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2018 to 2022

Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Memory Reactivation awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2020

The Modulatory Role of Reward on Attentional Brain Processes awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2006 to 2019

Basic predoctoral training in neuroscience awarded by National Institutes of Health (Training Faculty). 1992 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

Training in Fundamental &Translational Neuroscience awarded by National Institutes of Health (Training Faculty). 2005 to 2016


Geib, B. R., et al. “Linking the Rapid Cascade of Visuo-Attentional Processes to Successful Memory Encoding.Cereb Cortex, vol. 31, no. 4, Mar. 2021, pp. 1861–72. Pubmed, doi:10.1093/cercor/bhaa295. Full Text

van den Berg, Berry, et al. “Caffeine Boosts Preparatory Attention for Reward-related Stimulus Information.J Cogn Neurosci, vol. 33, no. 1, Jan. 2021, pp. 104–18. Pubmed, doi:10.1162/jocn_a_01630. Full Text

de Haan, Tineke, et al. “Diminished Feedback Evaluation and Knowledge Updating Underlying Age-Related Differences in Choice Behavior During Feedback Learning.Front Hum Neurosci, vol. 15, 2021, p. 635996. Pubmed, doi:10.3389/fnhum.2021.635996. Full Text

Bachman, Matthew D., et al. “Physical Salience and Value-Driven Salience Operate through Different Neural Mechanisms to Enhance Attentional Selection.J Neurosci, vol. 40, no. 28, July 2020, pp. 5455–64. Pubmed, doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1198-19.2020. Full Text

Donohue, Sarah E., et al. “Electroencephalography reveals a selective disruption of cognitive control processes in craving cigarette smokers.Eur J Neurosci, vol. 51, no. 4, Feb. 2020, pp. 1087–105. Pubmed, doi:10.1111/ejn.14622. Full Text

VanDusen, Keith W., et al. “The MARBLE Study Protocol: Modulating ApoE Signaling to Reduce Brain Inflammation, DeLirium, and PostopErative Cognitive Dysfunction.J Alzheimers Dis, vol. 75, no. 4, 2020, pp. 1319–28. Pubmed, doi:10.3233/JAD-191185. Full Text Open Access Copy

Whitehead, Peter S., et al. “Neural Dynamics of Cognitive Control over Working Memory Capture of Attention.J Cogn Neurosci, vol. 31, no. 7, July 2019, pp. 1079–90. Pubmed, doi:10.1162/jocn_a_01409. Full Text

Truong, Trong-Kha, et al. “Toward direct MRI of neuro-electro-magnetic oscillations in the human brain.Magn Reson Med, vol. 81, no. 6, June 2019, pp. 3462–75. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/mrm.27654. Full Text

DeWind, Nicholas K., et al. “Numerical encoding in early visual cortex.Cortex, vol. 114, May 2019, pp. 76–89. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2018.03.027. Full Text

Berger, Miles, et al. “The INTUIT Study: Investigating Neuroinflammation Underlying Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction.J Am Geriatr Soc, vol. 67, no. 4, Apr. 2019, pp. 794–98. Pubmed, doi:10.1111/jgs.15770. Full Text Open Access Copy