My main focus of interest lies in the investigation of capacity limits of human information processing, in particular in the domain of working memory and executive functions. I investigate the behavioral as well as the neural consequences when performance is at capacity limits, and also, when capacity limits are exceeded. In this domain, my main goal is to understand the impact of interindividual differences and age-related changes that affect cognition in general.
Another line of research addresses the question whether and how working memory capacity can be improved and whether such improvements have generalizing effects in other cognitive domains. Specifically, I cognitively train participants with the goal not only to improve their performance in the trained task, but also in other tasks that were not part of the training. In these studies, I aim to understand the cognitive and neural mechanisms that underlie training and transfer for which we have only a limited understanding until now.
Finally, I am investigating the relationship between working memory capacity and attentional processes and ruminative behavior in healthy and depressed participants.
- Cognitive training and transfer in young adults (collaboration with Prof. John Jonides and Dr. Martin Buschkuehl)
- Cognitive training and transfer in old adults and its impact on motor tasks (collaboration with Prof. Rachael Seidler, Prof. John Jonides, and Dr. Martin Buschkuehl)
- Cognitive training and transfer in normally developing children (collaboration with Prof. Priti Shah, Prof. John Jonides, and Dr. Martin Buschkuehl)
- Relationship between Working Memory, Executive Functions, and Fluid Intelligence (collaboration with Prof. John Jonides and Dr. Martin Buschkuehl)
- Relationship between Working Memory Capacity, Attentional Processes, and Rumination in healthy and depressed participants (collaboration with Prof. John Jonides, Prof. Patricia Deldin, Dr. Martin Buschkuehl, as well as Prof. Ian Gotlib, Stanford University)
- Traveling (preferably far north in the winter)
- Belly dancing
- Art and music in general
- Reading (biographies, fantasy, classical fiction, short stories, etc.)