At Stanford I teach courses on Brain Plasticity, Literature and the Brain, and The Brain and the Law. Additionally, I have written the textbook (Brain and Behavior) for the Cognitive Neuroscience course.
My scientific interests are how the brain constructs perception, how different brains do so differently, and how this matters for society. To that end, most of my academic work involves sensory substitution, time perception, synesthesia, and neurolaw. Please see publications for our latest research results. Funding for my research has come from NIH, NSF, DHHS, DARPA, Guggenheim Foundation, and several private foundations.
Outside of academia, I'm the co-founder and CEO of Neosensory, a company which addresses hearing problems and tinnitus via sensory substitution with a vibratory wristband. See my TED talk for more about that (and check out this clip from Westworld to see our technology there).
I'm also the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer for BrainCheck, a mobile platform used in thousands of physician offices and hospital systems to assess cognitive changes associated with dementia or concussion.
Public understanding of science is a passion of mine, and to that end I made The Brain, an Emmy-nominated 6-hour television series (PBS/BBC) and companion book. In this series, I pose a simple question from a neuroscientist's point of view: what does it mean to be human? I also made the documentary The Creative Brain, which has been on Netflix and is soon moving to Apple and Amazon Prime.
I run the Inner Cosmos podcast, which commonly ranks on Apple podcasts as the #1 science podcast in the nation. Typically structured as a monologue narrative, I explore the intersection between brain science and our daily lives. Listen wherever you get your podcasts.
I have written many non-fiction books, including my latest, LIVEWIRED (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize). I have also written the New York Times bestseller Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, which was named a Book of the Year by Amazon, Goodreads, and Boston Globe. My other non-fiction books include The Runaway Species, Wednesday is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia, The Safety Net: Surviving Pandemics and Other Disasters, and Brain & Behavior: A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective.
I also write fiction. My book Sum is an international bestseller, and has been in the top 100 bestselling books on Amazon several times over the course of the past decade. It has been translated into 33 languages and was named a Best Book of the Year by Barnes and Noble, New Scientist, and the Chicago Tribune. British musician Brian Eno and I performed a musical reading of Sum at the Sydney Opera House, and German composer Max Richter translated Sum into a full opera at the Royal Opera House in London.
I additionally write for the New York Times, Time Magazine,Discover Magazine, Economist, Atlantic, The Week, Slate, Wired, New Scientist, and others. I speak often on National Public Radio and BBC to discuss what's new and important in science.
Within the scientific community, I serve as an editor and reviewer for several journals. I also serve on the board of directors for several organizations, including the American Brain Foundation, the Mind Science Foundation, and the Long Now Foundation.
I am fortunate to have been named a Guggenheim Fellow, a Goldman Sachs Innovator of the Year, a Claude Shannon Luminary by Bell Labs, and an Educator of the Year for the Society for Neuroscience.