Broadly speaking, I am interested in the processes underlying flexible and intelligent cognition.  These interests have led me to study working memory and cognitive control.  In my graduate work with John Jonides at the University of Michigan, I studied the processes that protect working memory from intrusion either from the external environment or from our own distracting thoughts.  In addition to examining these processes in health, I have also studied interference-control in patients with major depressive disorder and schizophrenia as deficient control over working memory may underlie hallmark symptoms of these disorders.  My research has also examined whether and how working memory can be distinguished from related processes of attention and long-term memory.  This research has sought to understand the various states of information that is currently active in our mind.  More recently, I have been interested in elaborating the representational basis of nested levels of goals and rules in working memory.  Along with Josh Brown at Indiana University, I have examined prefrontal-striatal interactions involved in representing nested levels of rules in mind.  My work in the D'Esposito lab will continue along this vein, exploring nested representational structures in working memory through examination of the rostral-caudal and dorsal-ventral axes of the frontal lobes.  My research has incorporated cognitive psychology, univariate and multivariate fMRI, computational modeling, and quantitative meta-analysis of imaging data.  In the D'Esposito lab, I anticipate including TMS and studies of patients with focal PFC lesions, as well.