EMOTION REGULATION IN HUMANS
In this work, we tested the ability of human subjects to control their emotions.
While emotions normally 'dawn on us' (we 'get sad', rather than consciously decide to be sad), adult humans have a unique ability to control their feelings. We can make ourself happy, angry, and even disgusted.
To learn about the ability of humans to control their emotions we used electrodes embedded deep inside the emotions centers of humans undergoing neurosurgery and tested their ability to control their emotions by looking deep inside their feeling brain.
NEURAL CORRELATES OF ENGAGEMENT
What makes some story-tellers extremely exciting while others are utterly boring? How come some people say the same things as others yet we find one interesting and the other boring?
In this research we try to find the neural correlates of engagement - the feeling of genuine and pure interest in a topic, conversation, game or public message.
We use various neural methods ranging from imaging to invasive tools to tap into the brain at moments where subjects and patients are highly engaged - to identify the signatures of engagement in the brain.
VOLUNTARY CHOICES AND FREE WILL
Every time we make a decision we feel it is our own personal choice that led to that decision. What to eat? Who to talk to? When to stop doing something that is bad for us. But is this really the case?
AFFECTING CHOICES AND DREAMS DURING SLEEP
We spend a lot of our life dreaming. But what are dreams for? Is a time for our brain to relax, or maybe the optimal time for it to work on processing the events of the day? Can we decode people's dreams and memories and change their sleep experience?
OLFACTORY NEURAL CODING
Smells are a basic sense yet they are extremely powerful in eliciting concrete memories. Some say smells even shape our perception of events and people. Making us like someone, trust them or find them attractive.
In this work we looked at how we can use smells to shape experiences, and specifically at the way by which breathing altogether shapes conscious experiences.
NEURAL CORRELATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
The ultimate question that baffles neuroscientists is what gives rise to conscious experiences in our brain.
In this project we use aggregated data from an experiment where patients undergoing surgery were exposed to content that was visible to their eyes and elicit brain activity in corresponding neural centers, bt failed to reach conscious perception. We trace the flow of information in their brain to identify the location at which the competition between multiple stimuli gets resolved and only a small selection of those reaches our conscious awarness.