Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)
Research and teaching
- Internal attention
- Mind wandering
- Scalp and intracranial EEG
My research program centers on understanding the neurophysiological and functional basis of internal attention. This is a core human experience that occupies up to half of our awake time. Commonly known as mind wandering, it involves attending internally to cognitive processes such as autobiographical memory recall, decision making and future planning.
My lab uses a unique combination of cognitive neuroscience approaches to study internal attention, including behavior, pupillometry, scalp and intracranial EEG. We investigate internal attention in healthy individuals, clinical populations, neuropsychological patients with structural brain damage and neurosurgical patients with medically refractory epilepsy who are evaluated for surgical treatment to control their seizures.
Currently, we are interested in elucidating the causal relevance of brain regions in internal attention as well as the spatiotemporal dynamics supporting internal attention. Having previously established the core scalp EEG signatures of internal attention in healthy and clinical populations, my lab now uses these EEG signatures and machine learning models to predict periods of internal attention.
Finally, we are also interested in studying internal attention in naturalistic settings, and understanding the relationship between internal attention and other important aspects of our daily life, including task performance.