Brief overview and background
I’m a scientist working in the areas of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. I am a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin. I am part of the Whole Communities Whole Health Research Initiative, a UT Grand Challenge.
I did my PhD at the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara where I worked with Jonathan Schooler. During this time I was also a visiting research scientist at the Neuroanatomy and Connectivity Research Group at the Max Plank Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany. I completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Sleep and Consciousness at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I worked with Giulio Tononi.
My research uses a diversity of methods, including behavioral testing, computational modeling, functional and structural MRI, EEG, sleep physiology, non-invasive brain stimulation and eye tracking to address fundamental questions in human psychology.
My long-term research interests extend to broad scientific questions, including: sleep, perception, consciousness, attention, public health, wellbeing, and the upper potentials of the human mind. I am also interested in specific questions in human cognition, including how the capacity for explicit self-awareness arises in the human brain, the significance of symbolic representation in defining human cognition, as well as fundamental issues pertaining to emergence, information, and semiotic processes in biological systems.
My work has led to numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and talks at international conferences (please see Google Scholar page).