Zuzanna Klyszejko

Graduate Student

Department of Psychology

telephone: (212)998-8347

email: zuzanna.klyszejko@nyu.edu


Ph.D. student, New York University (2011-)

Masters Degree in Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poland (2005-2010). You can find my master thesis, The influence of cognitive load on task set activation in the antisaccade task: explorations within the Time-Based Resource-Sharing Model here

B.A. in Psychology, Marshall University, WV, earned after dual-degree EU-US Atlantis Program  (2007-2008, degree awarded in 2012)

Research Interests

Our brains have a limited neural bandwidth in processing incoming information from immediate surroundings. What are possible mechanisms for filtering out unnecessary information? In other words, how do our brains “know” which parts of environment are crucial for us? Priority map theory posits that locations of important elements get special tags, similar to “like” button on Facebook. The more likes a certain location receives for whatever reason – because it is relevant for our current task, for example, or it grabs our attention Untitled-1s with a vivid color, the more activity its location elicits in our brain.

This spatial representation of “likes” serves as a map that guides our thoughts and actions to places in immediate surroundings that promise the highest rewardsUntitled-1s  Our brains are not quite helpful like Facebook, unfortunately, and they don’t show the number of “likes”. Or do they? Without any doubt, we need more sophisticated tools to count them, and in order to do that we also need ways manipulate the number of “likes” our posts receive.

To look closer at brain activity, we use functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) and rely on a newly discovered property of occipital and parietal lobes. Under specific experimental conditions we are able to observe topographically organized activity on the surface of the occipital and parietal cortex. It means that the surface activity corresponds to location of important elements occupying contralateral visual field. Thus, when we show salient objectsUntitled-1s to observers, we can expect to see an increase in cortical activity. The question we are trying to answer is how the number of “likes” we observe corresponds to importance of presented items. In addition, what if we show multiple items in the same time? Tortilla chips are great, but if you could also get ice cream, what would you chooseUntitled-1s?

The choice between ice cream and tortilla chips might seem trivial to some of us, but when you think about it, many everyday decisions rely on judging relative importance of available options. Importantly, attention disorders such as autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could affect, among others, the ability to filter out important environmental cues and choose priorities. Combining in our experiments observation of brain activity and eye movementsUntitled-1s we want to uncover at least a small part of the Facebook machine.


Publications & Presentations

Klyszejko, Z., Rahmati, M., Curtis, C.E.  (2014). Attentional priority determines working memory precision. Vision Research, 105:70-76. Click here for PDF of the article or here to see the poster presented at Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting (May 2014, FL).

Klyszejko, Z., Wieczorek, A., Sarzynska, J., Szostek, A., Chmiel, K., Soluch, T., Brzezicka, A. Mode of text presentation and its impact on reading efficiency: Scrolling versus pagination. Click here for a poster describing the experiment presented at European Conference on Eye Movements, Marseille, France (August 2011)

Szarkowska, A., Krejtz, I., Klyszejko, Z., & Wieczorek, A. (2011). Verbatim, Standard, or Edited?: Reading Patterns of Different Captioning Styles Among Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Hearing Viewers. American Annals of the Deaf,156(4), 363-378. Click here for a copy.

Klyszejko, Z., Bielecki, M., Sędek, G. (2010). Time-based resource sharing in task set activation? Behavioral and eye tracking studies on the antisaccade task.  The Fifth European Working Memory Workshop, Civita Castellana, Italy. Click here for a copy.

Olszanowski, M., Szmalec, A. Klyszejko, Z., Rutkowski, T.  (2009). Control of interference in dual-tasking – does Conflict Monitoring Theory accounts for the control mechanism in dual task?  The European Society for Cognitive Psychology Conference, Krakow, Poland. Click here for the abstract of this presentation.


Tinkering with Arduino

Planning events and getting funds for NYU Cog Collective, our Cognition & Perception student organization

Sharing my knowledge with community during formal events such as Brain Awareness Week and informal ones (bars, museums and subway stops – whenever I get the chance)

Data science meetups around NYC

Dressing up for New York Philharmonic and  Metropolitan Opera

Stretching at the Iyengar Insitute and sweating at Bikram Yoga Harlem