Broadly speaking, my research investigates how the body shapes the mind. To do so, I apply a tripartite, multidisciplinary approach to understanding embodied neural mechanisms, their role in self-awareness, and what happens when such mechanisms are disturbed as in psychopathology. The ultimate aim of my research is to build precise, biologically-informed models expressing how brain-body interaction shapes both healthy and disordered self-awareness, so that we might both better understand ourselves and improve the world around us. I call this blend of basic and applied research neuroconscience – an embodied approach to growing self-awareness in society and beyond.
To achieve these aim, I apply a variety of methodological and conceptual techniques, including psychophysics, philosophical and phenomenological inquiry, functional and effective connectivity modelling, computational and signal-theoretic approaches, machine learning, and quantitative MRI (‘in vivo’ histology). This enables me to examine how visceral, tactile, and nociceptive signals shape our brain connectivity, awareness, and decision-making. By applying machine learning to quantitative measures of brain neurobiology and effective connectivity in large-scale data, I further hope to identify sensitive computational phenotypes or bio-markers of disordered brain-body interaction.
More specifically, my research can be described as following three core themes (click each to learn more):