Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Tricia Z. King, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jeffrey G. Malins, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jingyu Liu, Ph.D.


This study investigated fMRI Blood Oxygen Level-Dependent signal variability within individuals (within-individual neural variability; WINV) during a letter n-back task, and examined the relationship between WINV and cognitive abilities in healthy adults (N = 48). WINV in frontoparietal brain regions was modulated during vigilance and working memory (WM) trials of the n-back task, and was related to neuropsychological measures of vigilance and WM. WINV across the n-back task influenced n-back task performance; in this study, the inferior frontal junction exhibited a behavioral double dissociation between flexibility and stability at the region of interest level. A reading and language network was also queried to determine the influence of vigilance and WM on reading and language skills. As hypothesized, ROI and cluster-based variability in the n-back task was related to performance on assessments of WM, vigilance, reading, and language. Understanding WINV in these domains will inform research about WINV in clinical populations.


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