David Eagleman is a neuroscientist and a New York Times bestselling author. He directs the Laboratory for Perception and Action at the Baylor College of Medicine, where he also directs the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law. He is best known for his work on time perception, brain plasticity, synesthesia, and neurolaw.
Beyond his 100+ academic publications, he has published many popular books. His bestselling book Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, explores the neuroscience "under the hood" of the conscious mind: all the aspects of neural function to which we have no awareness or access. His work of fiction, SUM, is an international bestseller published in 28 languages and turned into two operas. Why the Net Matters examines what the advent of the internet means on the timescale of civilizations. The award-winning Wednesday is Indigo Blue explores the neurological condition of synesthesia, in which the senses are blended.
Eagleman is a TED speaker, a Guggenheim Fellow, a winner of the McGovern Award for Excellence in Biomedical Communication, a Next Generation Texas Fellow, Vice-Chair on the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Neuroscience & Behaviour, a research fellow in the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, Chief Scientific Advisor for the Mind Science Foundation, and a board member of The Long Now Foundation. He has served as an academic editor for several scientific journals. He was named Science Educator of the Year by the Society for Neuroscience, and was featured as one of the Brightest Idea Guys by Italy's Style magazine. He is founder of the company BrainCheck and the cofounder of the company NeoSensory. He was the scientific advisor for the television drama Perception, and has been profiled on the Colbert Report, NOVA Science Now, the New Yorker, CNN's Next List, and many other venues. He appears regularly on radio and television to discuss literature and science.
We will be able to enhance the natural sensory capabilities that humans have, and I think this is where technology and the brain have a very fertile meeting ground.
Consciousness is essentially the company president that has to arbitrate all the different mechanisms.
Your assessment of how long something took has a lot to do with how much energy your brain has to burn during the event.
Time shrinks retrospectively.
Estimates are that a third of the prison population has mental illness.
Keeping a secret is quite bad for you because it causes a lot of stress.
How all the parts of the brain come together so that you have a unified perception of the world is one of the unsolved mysteries in neuroscience.
The idea that there's this massive amount happening under the hood came from Freud.
Think of consciousness as essentially the company president that has to arbitrate all the different mechanisms.
As soon as we abandon the first intuitions we have, that we’re the ones in control of everything, then we can start sailing into the inner cosmos and discovering all sorts of new planets and life forms and things like that on the inside of our skulls.
As we keep pushing forward with technology, we’ll be able to take more and more data from the invisible parts of the world and start feeding them into our brain.