What are the biological constraints on the amount and/or resolution of information held in working memory?
How does working memory modulate our perception of the world?
How is information encoded and maintained such that it can persist in the presence of distracting stimuli?
The Sreenivasan Lab is interested in how the brain forms and implements goals. Our primary focus is the neurobiological basis of working memory, which is the process that allows us to actively hold on to information over brief periods. Working memory underlies our ability to communicate, problem solve, and think abstractly. In the lab, we combine neuroimaging and behavioral studies in healthy and patient populations in order to gain insight into how working memory and other elements of goal-directed behavior are implemented in the human brain.

Research areas include: 
How are multiple working memory representations organized in parallel? Working memory likely involves multiple parallel representations distributed across the brain, but it is not clear what the purpose of this organization is. We aim to uncover the joint and unique contributions of parallel working memory representations to behavior as well as understand how they interact.

How are memories converted into a coherent behavioral response? Working memories are richer than previously imagined. Converting these representations into a simple (e.g., match/non-match) behavioral response is not a trivial feat. We aim to elucidate the processes and brain mechanisms by which rich working memories are converted to point estimates in response space.

How do top-down signals leverage the spatiotopic organization of the human brain? Topographic maps are found in multiple regions, including parietal and prefrontal control areas. We propose that interregional spatiotopically-specific signals are critical for organizing multiple elements of cognition. We aim to characterize the nature and limitations of these signals and demonstrate their importance for working memory and attention.
Kartik Sreenivasan | Assistant Professor of Psychology | Affiliation in Biology
kks4 at nyu dot edu

Kartik is interested in working memory, cognitive control, and the structure of mental representations. Kartik received his bachelor's degree from Yale University, his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania under the supervision of Dr. Amishi Jha, and did his postdoctoral training at UC Berkeley under the supervision of Dr. Mark D'Esposito. He joined the NYUAD faculty in 2014.
Aniol Santo Angles | Postdoc
as14864 at nyu dot edu

Aniol joined the lab as a research assistant in 2020. He received his Masters in Neuroscience and PhD on interindividual variability of brain function in schizophrenia from the University of Barcelona. His research focuses on the computational modeling of brain dynamics associated with cognitive functions.
Karima Raafat | Research Assistant & Lab Manager
kar618 at nyu dot edu | @KarimaRaafat

Karima joined the lab in 2021 after completing her B.A. in Psychology at NYU Abu Dhabi. She is currently a research assistant and the lab manager. Her research focuses on examining the mechanisms underlying serial dependence in visual working memory.
Gayathri Satheesh | Research Assistant
gs2750 at nyu dot edu

Gayathri joined the lab as a research assistant in 2020 after completing her B.S. in Biology at NYU Abu Dhabi. Her research focuses on understanding the component processes that comprise working memory.
Alia Alshamali | Research Assistant
aa7791 at nyu dot edu

Alia joined the lab as a research assistant in 2019 after completing her B.A. in Psychology at United Arab Emirates University. Her research focuses on the relationship between working memory and conscious experience.
AJ Abdujabborov | Research Assistant
aa5313 at nyu dot edu

AJ first joined the lab as an undergraduate student at NYU Abu Dhabi. After completing his B.A. in Psychology in 2020, he worked as a post-graduation research fellow for a year before joining the lab as a research assistant in 2021. His research focuses on examining modeling issues in estimating working memory maintenance activity using fMRI.
Ying Zhou | PhD Student
yz5726 at nyu dot edu

Ying joined NYUAD as a PhD student in 2019 after completing her B.A. and M.A. in Psychology at Zhejiang University, China. She is interested in working memory and attention. Her research focuses on studying the neural mechanism of attention in working memory through fMRI. Ying's PhD is co-supervised by Kartik, Clay Curtis, & Daryl Fougnie (primary supervisor).
Shanshan Li | PhD Student
sl9712 at nyu dot edu

Shanshan joined the lab as a PhD student in 2022. She completed her B.A. in Applied Psychology at Nantong University and MSc in Research Methods of Psychology at the University of Glasgow.
Treedom Zhang | Undergraduate Capstone Student
Is the storage of spatial features necessary for non-spatial features in working memory?
Hannah Chu | Undergraduate Capstone Student
Neural bases of perceptual filling-in caused by artificial scotomas and its implications for working memory

Ainsley Temudo, Research Associate and Lab Manager (currently a PhD student in Cognitive and Motor Neuroscience | University of Utah)
Masih Rahmati, Postdoc (currently a Postdoc | Yale University Department of Psychiatry)
Amber Nomani, Research Assistant (currently a MSc student in Clinical Mental Health Sciences | University College London)
Stergiani Lentzou, Research Assistant (currently a MSc student in Cognitive Neuroscience Research | Donders Institute, Radboud University)
Vahan Babushkin, Research Assistant (currently a PhD student in Engineering | NYUAD)
Kevin DeSimone, Postdoc (currently a Data Scientist | Statespace Labs)
Israr Ul Haq, Research Assistant and Lab Manager (currently a Resident in Neurology | Mercy Health St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo, OH)
Kinza Maxood, Research Assistant (currently a Medical Editor, Science and Regulatory Affairs | Klick Health)
Michael Payton, Research Assistant (currently a PhD student | University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Kübra Kömek Kırlı, Postdoc (currently a Clinical Research Manager | Medtronic)

Lin Ye ('22)
Liza Borodynia ('22)
Aleksandrina Dimova ('21)
Teodora Hristovska ('21)
Nicole Dobreva ('20)
Supriya Kamath ('19)
Mariam AlHarmoodi ('19)
Nela Noll ('19)
Karolis Degutis ('18)
Zsofia Sveiczer ('18)
Dóra Pálfi ('16)
Annamaria Balogh ('15)
  • 2022
    • Jabar SB, Sreenivasan KK, Lentzou S, Kanabar A, Brady TF, and Fougnie D (2022). Using a betting game to reveal the rich nature of visual working memories. link

      Zhou Y, Curtis CC, Sreenivasan KK, and Fougnie D (2022). Common neural mechanisms control attention and working memory. Journal of Neuroscience. link
  • 2021
    • Barbosa J, Babushkin V, Temudo A, Sreenivasan KK, and Compte A (2021). Across-area synchronization supports feature integration in working memory. link

      Hallenbeck GE, Sprague TC, Rahmati M, Sreenivasan KK, and Curtis CE (2021). Working memory representations in visual cortex mediate distraction effects. Nature Communications, 12(1), 1-18. link

      Lorenc ES and Sreenivasan KK (2021). Reframing the debate: The distributed systems view of working memory. Visual Cognition, 1-9. link

      Temudo A, Jabar SB, Fougnie D, and Sreenivasan KK (2021). Probabilistic working memory representations in visual cortex. Journal of Vision, 21(9). link
  • 2020
    • Rahmati M, DeSimone K, Curtis CC, and Sreenivasan KK (2020). Spatially-specific working memory activity in the human superior colliculus. Journal of Neuroscience, 40(49), 9487-9495. link
  • 2019
    • Sreenivasan KK and D’Esposito M (2019). The what, where and how of delay activity. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 20, 466-481. link
  • 2018
    • Donaldson KR, Roach BJ, Ford JM, Lai K, Sreenivasan KK, and Mathalon DH (2018). Effects of conflict and strategic processing on neural responses to errors in schizophrenia. Biological Psychology, 140, 9-18. link
    • Lorenc ES, Sreenivasan KK, Nee DE, Vandenbroucke ARE, and D’Esposito M (2018). Flexible coding of visual working memory representations during distraction. Journal of Neuroscience, 38(23), 5267-5276 link
  • 2015
    • Sneve MH, Sreenivasan KK, Endestad T, and Magnussen S (2015). Short-term retention of visual information: Evidence in support of feature-based attention as an underlying mechanism. Neuropsychologia, 66, 1-9. link
  • 2014
    • Sreenivasan KK, Curtis CE, and D’Esposito M (2014). Revisiting the role of persistent neural activity during working memory. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18(2), 82-89. link
    • Sreenivasan KK, Gratton C, Vytlacil J, and D’Esposito M (2014). Evidence for working memory storage operations in perceptual cortex. Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, 14(1), 117-128. link
    • Cohen JR*, Sreenivasan KK*, and D’Esposito M (2014). Correspondence between stimulus encoding- and maintenance-related neural processes underlies successful working memory. Cerebral Cortex, 24(3), 593-599. link
    • Sreenivasan KK, Vytlacil J, and D’Esposito M. (2014). Distributed and dynamic coding of working memory stimulus representations in extrastriate cortex. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 26(5), 1141-1153. link
  • 2013 and earlier
    • Gratton C, Sreenivasan KK, Silver MA, and D’Esposito M (2013). Attention selectively modifies the representation of individual faces in the human brain. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(16), 6979-6989. link
    • Sreenivasan KK, Sambhara D, and Jha AP (2011). Working memory templates are maintained in feature-specific perceptual code. Journal of Neurophysiology, 106(1), 115-121. link
    • Sreenivasan KK, Goldstein JM, Lustig AG, Rivas LR, and Jha AP (2009). Attention to faces modulates early face processing during low but not high face discriminability. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 71(4), 837-846. link
    • Sreenivasan KK, Katz J, and Jha AP (2007). Temporal characteristics of top-down modulations during working memory maintenance: An event-related potential study of the N170 component. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19(11), 1836-1844. link
    • Sreenivasan KK and Jha AP (2007). Selective attention supports working memory maintenance by modulating perceptual processing of distractors. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19(1), 32-41. link
Undergraduate Volunteers. If you're a student at NYU or NYUAD who is passionate about research, there may be opportunities for you to get hands-on research experience by helping with one of our lab projects. If you are interested, please contact Kartik directly.

For any general questions pertaining to the lab, please fill out the form below.
Thank you! Your submission has been received.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again.
New York University Abu Dhabi logo
NYUAD Sreenivasan Lab ⓒ 2021
Computational Research Building (A2), Saadiyat Island
Abu Dhabi, UAE