My current focus is science outreach, training, and education, but my training and background is in neuroscience.
As a PhD candidate, I studied how different parts of the brain coordinate and communicate, how those patterns spontaneously shift over time, and how they shift in ways that can specifically be linked to learning a new skill. Patterns of brain connectivity, which I studied principally across the cortex, drift significantly from day to day or even from morning to afternoon. My work exploring these patterns could contribute to developing brain-computer interface decoding algorithms that can distinguish between natural drift and directed changes such as those caused by learning, which I also investigated.
I identified connectivity patterns particularly influenced by attempts to learn a new skill – in my study, we asked participants to play a computer game that was like a sideways version of Pac-Man. Those who successfully learned the task particularly experienced increased connectivity within the inferior parietal lobule, a region associated with sensory integration. Even unsuccessful attempts at learning caused changes in connectivity patterns, which were significantly different from the changes seen in those who did successfully learn the skill.
For a list of my publications, see here.