How does the brain select and remember goal-relevant information? How does it use this information to make decisions?
At any given moment, we face a never-ending stream of sensory information that must be integrated with our internal thoughts and goals. In order to purposefully guide our behavior, we flexibly select goal-relevant sensory information (via attention) while we keep in mind and manipulate critical information no longer available in our environment (via memory). I employ a wide variety of experimental methods (computational neuroimaging, brain lesions, eye-tracking, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and virtual reality) and theoretical approaches to investigate how the brain (1) represents and (2) processes information necessary for executive control.
My current work is largely focused on leveraging computational techniques typically used to characterize visual regions of the brain to better understand information processing in higher- order brain areas thought to be critical for executive control. My goal is to develop a biologically- plausible theoretical model that approximates how complex networks of brain regions interact to support cognition. Once we are armed with such an understanding we can devise better strategies to treat and prevent the wide range of psychiatric and neurologic disorders (such as autism, ADHD, and schizophrenia) thought to be the direct result of impaired executive control.