I study the mental experiences we have as humans. Experiences like seeing the color blue, being aware of your own body, and feeling free will in your own actions. What kind of information goes into your experiences, and how does the activity of your brain give rise to the thoughts in your mind?

The challenge of this research is how to objectively measure and account for phenomena that are internal and subjective. Technologically, this involves controlled sensory stimulation, brain stimulation, and recordings from the brain and body. But in the end, it is about designing circumstances to give rise to unique experiences, asking people the right questions, and then examining their behavior--revealing the underlying processes of the mind.

Experience

  • 2009–present
    Scientist, California Institute of Technology