Carlos Carrasco

Scholar: Carlos Carrasco

 Carlos Carrasco

Major: Neuroscience

Faculty Mentors: Dr. Marian Berryhill 

Research Topic:  Behavioral Oscillations in Working Memory  

Abstract: Shifting of attention between the items in front of you in your visual field, such as on your desk, is easy; however, attention also shifts amongst items within your internal attention such as when you must solve a math problem and must remember to use order of operations. Although these forms of attention are similar, there is an incomplete understanding of how attention operates on items held within visual working memory (VWM). VWM is the maintenance of to-be-remembered items consciously held over brief delays. One way to investigate attentional operations in VWM is to use cues retrospectively presented after encoding, during maintenance, which is known as the retro-cue paradigm. Performance on VWM tasks in the retro-cue paradigm are superior when cues are valid (cuing one representation), as compared to when cues are uninformative (cuing all representations), and this difference is known as the retro-cue effect (RCE). Preliminary findings demonstrate that performance oscillates over time between different delay intervals, such that sinusoidal waveforms of performance are generated based on when cue presentation occurs using a continuous delay interval varying between 750 - 1250 ms. Here, the research investigated how these performance oscillations during VWM tasks are influenced by the retrocue paradigm across stimulus categories. Furthermore, we compare these oscillations to behavioral oscillations observed during pre-cue paradigms. Next, measuring cortical activity with electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings, we will attempt to elucidate the sources of these oscillations to strengthen our understanding of attentional mechanisms underlying the RCE. Preliminary findings will be discussed, along with a discussion on issues with methodology and analysis currently faced and how to mediate these issues.

New Scholar: 2017 cohort