How does the human brain represent and manipulate visual information? I have focused my PhD work on understanding how attention and visual memory alter cortical representations of the visual world.

The following is an abbreviated CV. Here is the full version.
To view my resume instead, see here.


PhD candidate in Neurosciences, Computational specialization (expected 2019)
University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Advisor: John T. Serences

B.A. with High Honors in Biology & Cognitive Science (2011)
Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA
Advisors: Frank H. Durgin & Kathleen K. Siwicki


Sprague, T.C.*, Adam, K.C.S.*, Foster, J.J.*, Rahmati, M.*, Sutterer, D.W.*, Vo, V.A.* (2018).
Inverted encoding models assay population-level stimulus representations, not single-unit neural tuning.
eNeuro. [link]

Sprague, T.C., Itthipuripat, S., Vo, V.A., and Serences, J.T. (2018).
Dissociable signatures of visual salience and behavioral relevance across attentional priority maps in human cortex.
Journal of Neurophysiology. [link]

Vo, V.A., Sprague, T.C., Serences, J.T. (2017).
Spatial tuning shifts increase the discriminability and fidelity of population codes in visual cortex.
Journal of Neuroscience. [link] [OSF data] [github code]

Vo, V.A., Li, R., Kornell, N., Pouget, A., Cantlon, J.F. (2014).
Young children bet on their numerical skills: Metacognition in the numerical domain.
Psychological Science. [link]

Selected Presentations

Vo, V.A., Serences, J.T. (2018). The effects of attentional scope on voxel receptive fields and population codes for space. Poster at Vision Sciences Society meeting, St. Pete Beach, FL.

Vo, V.A., Sutterer, D.W., Foster, J.J., Sprague, T.C., Awh, E., Serences, J.T., (2017). Neural representations of spatial position recalled from long-term and short-term memory diverge across the cortical hierarchy. Talk at Vision Sciences Society meeting, St. Pete Beach, FL.

Vo, V.A., Sprague, T.C., Serences, J.T. (2016). Spatial attention modulates voxel receptive fields to boost the fidelity of multi-voxel stimulus representations. Nanosymposium talk at Society for Neuroscience meeting, San Diego, CA.

Vo, V.A., Herrera, E.I., Serences, J.T. (2016). Orientation selective responses as measured with EEG track both featural and temporal attention enhancements. Poster at Vision Sciences Society meeting, St. Pete Beach, FL.

Awards & Honors

Vision Sciences Society Student Travel Award (2017)
Center for Visual Sciences Symposium Student Travel Award (2016)
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (awarded 2013)
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Research Fellow (2010)

Teaching & mentorship

2013 - now Graduate student mentor for independent study students and volunteers (UCSD). Isabel Asp (Psychology); Kaylee Craig; Eduardo Herrera; Avery Rogers; Matthew Jaconetta (Psychology); Kia Shams; Wenjing Dong (Psychology); Rie Davis (Psychology); Naomi Lee (Psychology).
Spring 2016 Student Lecturer, Fundamentals in Statistics and Computation for Neuroscientists course. This student-taught, student-led, and student-organized course serves as an introduction to concepts and techniques necessary for students to succeed in the Computational Neuroscience specialization track in the Neurosciences Graduate Program at UCSD. Prepared two video lectures and wrote accompanying quizzes and problem sets on basic hypothesis testing and permutation testing.
Spring 2015 Teaching Assistant, Data Analysis in MATLAB graduate course (taught by John Serences). Reviewed student code & algorithmic solutions to weekly problem sets on advanced topics in data analysis, such as bootstrapping & permutation statistics, time-frequency analysis, pattern classification, and nonlinear curve & surface fitting.
Spring 2015 Guest Lecturer, Sensation & Perception undergraduate course (taught by John Serences). Lectured on sensory development for this Psychology core course.
2014 - 2015 Teaching Assistant, Neurosciences Graduate Program Boot Camp for incoming students (taught by Stefan Leutgeb & Jing Wang). Led computational neuroscience workshops & labs designed to familiarize students with common programming & data analysis techniques using Python and MATLAB.
2011 - 2013 Graduate student mentor for independent study students (University of Rochester). Laura Ackerman (Brain & Cognitive Sciences), undergraduate thesis; Emily Kasman (Brain & Cognitive Sciences); Matthew Mullen (Neurosciences).

Other Academic Activities

Summer 2016 course, "Computational Neuroscience: Vision." Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY

Ad-hoc review for: Cerebral Cortex, eNeuro, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Neuroimage, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences