The ability to act in a goal-directed fashion in spite of many competing forces is one of the hallmarks of adaptive human functioning. My research has examined how basic cognitive mechanisms such as "selective attention" and "working memory" optimize this adaptive behavior by allowing us to focus on, maintain, and retrieve goal-relevant information in the presence of distraction.


Research Question #1

The Nature of Attentional Control in Vision: To what extent is the control of visual selective attention voluntary (or goal-directed), and to what extent can salient objects and events in the world (e.g., unique colors, abrupt onset of stimuli or events, moving objects) distract or "capture" our attention in an involuntary fashion, regardless of our current goals and intentions?

Research Question #2

Development of a Semantic Theory of Symbolic Control: How do spatial symbols elicit shifts of attention across the different dimensions of space?

Research Question #3

Component Analysis of Working Memory in ADHD: What is the nature of the working memory impairment in individuals with ADHD?

Research Question #4

Adaptive Training of Working Memory: Which components of working memory are targeted by existing interventions? Can the potency of existing interventions be strengthened?