Karen Arcos


Ph.D., Cognitive Neuroscience, Emphasis in Chicano Latino Studies UCI, 2020 expected

MS, Cognitive Neuroscience, UCI, 2018 expected

BA, Psychology, Spanish Minor, University of Southern California, 2015


Verbal short-term and working memory in blind and sighted humans


Karen Arcos is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and is completely blind. Karen researches how different senses impact short-term memory (STM) and working memory (WM) in blind and sighted individuals. STM refers to briefly storing information, i.e., remembering phone numbers, while WM refers to briefly manipulating information, i.e., inverting digits. Karen would like to know how visual, auditory, and tactile modalities influence blind and sighted individuals’ memory abilities.

Karen is passionate about giving back to her community.  She mentors students on the undergraduate admissions process and on conducting experimental procedures. Karen also enjoys baking desserts and hiking.

Why is science communication important to you personally?

I would like to improve the public’s understanding of neuroscience. So much of the science we are exposed to is either pseudo science or incomprehensible that we have a lack of interest in this increasingly important field. Therefore, I would like to excite young and old alike, particularly those from underrepresented populations.