You know that moment when you notice that your mind was wandering? Maybe you’re reading a book and notice that you’ve been scanning the page with your eyes but not actually reading? In my doctoral studies I’m studying what the brain does that makes you notice. More precisely, I am working on understanding “meta-awareness” and the cognitive neuroscience of how we notice when we are not paying attention. Meta-awareness could be thought of as antithetical to mindfulness. My goal is to increase the frequency of meta-awareness through an understanding of its neural underpinnings. 

I also study meditation. Most modern meditations use the breath to anchor attention, but my work suggests that other anchors may be more suitable for some people. I have also studied the drawbacks of meditation. 

I also study psychedelics. We ran the first pre-registered scientific study on microdosing psychedelic substances. 

I am a proponent of open science and pre-registration: the way science was meant to be done! 

I am also interested in promoting intellectual conversations outside of academia. There’s no need for such conversations to stop after one gets a degree!

This profile was last updated on March 4, 2020

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