I am a DIY Neuroscientist who enjoys designing low-cost experiments that teach the basic principles of the brain. I co-founded Backyard Brains 5 years ago to bring neuroscience inventions to high schools, middle schools and the public. The "Aha!" moment was when we realized we could use insects easily in the classroom. Bugs have very similar neurons to ours. So in learning about their brains, we are in fact learning about our own!
The brain is a mystery to most people. The goal of our work is to make it easier for the public to inquire about neuroscience through hands-on experiments. So what are these experiments, exactly? Low costs versions of electrophysiology (Seeing and hearing the brain of insects on your iPad), functional electrical stimulation (making muscles move using an iPod or TENS), micro-stimulation (a remote-controlled cockroach), neuropharmacology (Cigarettes have nicotine, nicotine binds to ACh receptors), and even optogenetics!
Come talk to me at TED. Chances are I will have some experiments with me. If you've never heard a spike before... I will show you. We've demonstrated what our brain sounds and looks like to over 45,000 people! We are always looking for more.
TED2015, TEDGlobal 2014, TED2014, TEDGlobal 2013, TED2013, TED2012
Areas of Expertise
An idea worth spreading
A science-literate populace making logical funding decisions.
I'm passionate about
Science, The Brain, Electronics
Talk to me about
Talk to me about Space. I am working to get our gear on the International Space Station for over a year (lots of paperwork). Also, talk to me in Spanish. We recently opened our office in Chile.