Photo Credit:  Alison Christiana  2018

Photo Credit: Alison Christiana 2018

About

I am currently a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Division of Biology & Biological Engineering at Caltech, working on developing novel sensory experiences using sensory augmentation and substitution devices by conducting and applying research that probes the basic psychophysical and neural mechanisms of sensory perception.

Previously, I was a visiting researcher at Microsoft Research where I was working on developing novel sensory experiences in Virtual Reality (VR) using multimodal VR systems. Prior to my appointment at Microsoft, I was a postdoctoral researcher in Henrik Ehrsson's Brain, Body and Self Lab at the Karolinska Institute where I conducted experiments investigating the role of mental imagery in human perception, and the neural processes involved in constructing a coherent perception of the world around us and of ourselves. My work has made use of a variety of behavioral and neuroimaging techniques to investigate questions such as whether mental imagery can alter veridical cross-modal sensory perception via multisensory integration; whether cross-modal brain plasticity can be induced from imagined sensory stimuli; whether we can tap into brain plasticity to improve the perceptual experience of low-fidelity virtual environments in VR; whether haptic feedback from controllers in VR can create novel tactile sensations that cannot be experienced in the real world; and whether false feedback from a brain computer interface can elicit illusory intentions.

Prior to my doctoral studies, I graduated from San Francisco State University's Department of Psychology, with my M.A. in Psychological Research (Mind, Brain, and Behavior) in May of 2010. During my master's  I worked in  Dr. Ezequiel Morsella's Action and Consciousness Lab investigating (a) the complex relationship between action and awareness and (b) people's lay intuitions regarding the nature of action and psychologicial processes.  I began working with Dr. Morsella as an undergraduate honor's student in 2007 at San Francisco State University investigating the relationships among automaticity, conscious processing, and self-regulation/self control.