The human visual system can only select and keep track of a small handful of objects at any given moment. Yet, for the most part, people successfully navigate through busy intersections, find items of interest such as food or friends in a crowd, and understand complex social situations – all with seemingly little effort. This suggests that the human visual system employs efficient strategies to manage its limited resources. Alvarez's research is aimed at understanding how the mind and brain optimizes the use of its limited resources. His projects on this topic fall into the following four categories: attentional selection, memory storage, fluid resource allocation, and efficient coding.