I am a cognitive neuroscientist who focuses on brain performance and video gaming. AMA
(12/13) EDIT 6: Thanks everyone. I'll be on stream to answer more and keep plugging away at these questions. This has been revelatory to me -- thanks everyone. I'll try to figure out more effective way of dealing with these questions like putting up video links or something. Have a good week.
[https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOOIzDxzKEd8EhF5dTy5Ngw](Youtube Channel with shorter videos)
I'm a physician, biomedical engineer, and cognitive neuroscientist (MD/PhD) here to answer questions about brain performance, neurotechnology, gaming, or whatever else might be of interest.
My focus has been understanding what happens in the brain, how the brain handles complex situations (including games), and how to maximize brain performance in general. I've studied and published on attention, memory, multitasking, learning (and other cognitive processes) while interacting with video games. I've also run independent studies on neuropharmaceuticals and done a fair amount of engineering work on non-invasive neurotechnology.
Cognitive neuroscience -- what is it?
Cognitive neuroscience is a field that studies quantitative psychology using brain-measuring devices on humans (like fMRI or EEG). It really took off in the 1990's with access to fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging).
I've also worked on the non-science side (engineering side) improving brain-measuring devices and on brain-computing interfaces (BCI), programming and doing software development on brain-training applications and brain assessments.
Other possibly interesting stuff:
I've developed games used for laboratory settings (scientifically controlled) to study how the brain works under more complex, immersive and challenging conditions (than typical cognitive tasks).
I've worked with games and mobile apps heading into FDA approval, analyzed game data from small and large video game companies.
I've worked in DARPA-funded labs and for the DoD independently as a contractor.
I've worked on cognitive training programs as well as with companies on mindfulness, creativity, and other less academically-traditional cognitive areas.
I have done a fair amount of machine learning work (in case that interests anyone).
As a kid, I was interested in maxing out the brain. I got into to medical school as a teenager, mostly as a plan-by-default, where I did research projects in neurosurgery and neuroradiology. After residency (in my early twenties), I left medicine and entered a dual PhD in cognitive neuroscience/biomedical engineering at Berkeley and UCSF. Afterwards, I did a postdoc where I worked on using VR environments (and fMRI) to study how memory works, neuroactive drugs, and other topics. After that, I worked in Silicon Valley, for industry, and on some independent projects.
I have no idea if any of this is interesting to anyone but I started thinking recently it might be nice to share, educate, or just converse in general.
Disclaimer #1: Nothing I say is medical advice. See a professional in a professional system with professional liability insurance and professional billing.
Disclaimer #2: My comments don't represent any organizations, companies, or universities I have previously or currently work with.
EDIT 1: I'm not super familiar with the response window/timing of these AMA's but I'll return to these later tonight if I don't get to them right now. The number and variety of questions has been very cool.
EDIT 2: And probably into Saturday as well... so many comments/questions. Very cool -- didn't expect this. Apologies if I'm being a Reddit noob about something.
EDIT 3: I'm planning to answer more this evening and link some more general answers to repeated questions in this thread. I have a twitch I've only used for some close friends but maybe I can just answer live later today/tonight.
EDIT 4: I'm going keep answering the backlog of questions starting around 4:30 PST/7:30 EST. I'll be live on a channel if you prefer to ask in chat as well: https://www.twitch.tv/ramotime
EDIT 5: I'm going keep answering tomorrow evening (12/12/2020) on stream again probably around 6 PM PST/9 PM EST. Thanks for the stream participation and questions today! You guys have been great. Its been super informative for me to hear what people are interested in. https://www.twitch.tv/ramotime