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David Eagleman          

Neuroscientist; New York Times Bestselling Author; Direct the Laboratory for Perception and Action at the Baylor College of Medicine

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, synesthesia, and neurolaw. At night he writes. His work of fiction, SUM, is an international bestseller published in 27 languages. His book on the internet and civilization, Why the Net Matters, is available as an app for the iPad and as an eBook. Wednesday is Indigo Blue explores the neurological condition of synesthesia, in which the senses are blended. His latest book, the New York Times bestseller Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, explores the neuroscience "under the hood" of the conscious mind -- in other words, all the aspects of neural function to which we have no awareness or access.

Eagleman is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Next Generation Texas Fellow, a council member on the World Economic Forum, a research fellow in the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, and a board member of The Long Now Foundation. He is an academic editor for several scientific journals, and has been named one of 2012's Brightest Idea Guys by Italy's Style magazine. He is 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.

Speech Topics

Your Brain on Social Media

What do advances in neuroscience reveal about the way our brains—and our conscious and subconscious selves—engage with social media? In a breathtaking talk, David Eagleman draws on an array of freshly-minted research to show us how and why we react so powerfully, and even so addictively, to this important new technology. What is so appealing about social media that has made Tweeters, followers, and "friends" out of billions of people worldwide? Our brains, Eagleman explains, are simply hardwired to "like" many aspects of social media: the sharing, the linking, the constant presence of your friends. For companies to dominate this space, they must understand what these intrinsically satisfying engagement points are—and Eagleman is among the first to dive in and investigate. Reputation and trust, so fragile in the real world, gain a whole new importance in social media. And notions of cool trump matters of cost. Cutting through speculation, anecdotal evidence, and fuzzy marketing speak, Eagleman makes vivid and practical sense of the brave new field of social neuroscience. He shows you why our brains can't help but love social media, and how to reconfigure your efforts to make use of this stunning new knowledge.

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

If the conscious mind—the part you consider you—accounts for only a fraction of the brain's function, what is all the rest doing? This is the question that David Eagleman has spent years researching and which he answers in this up-to-the-minute talk, chock-full of verve, wit, and startling new discoveries. Our behavior, thoughts, and experiences are inseparably linked to a vast, wet, chemical-electrical network called the nervous system. The machinery is utterly alien to us, and yet, somehow, it is us. Eagleman takes us into the depths of the subconscious to answer some of our deepest mysteries. Why does the conscious mind know so little about itself? What do Ulysses and the subprime mortgage meltdown have in common? Why is it so difficult to keep a secret? Eagleman charts new terrain in neuroscience and helps us understand how our perceptions of ourselves and our world result from the hidden workings of the most wondrous thing we have ever discovered: the human brain.

The Brain Science of Getting Things Done

David Eagleman examines the contracts people make with their future selves—"I'll eat this cake if I promise to go to the gym tomorrow"—and pinpoints how this can be leveraged effectively when it comes to getting things done. (This talk expands upon a popular New York Times Op-Ed in which he discussed the concept of a Ulysses contract, and suggested that president Obama was setting up the nation in such a contract by committing to a deadline for withdrawal from Afghanistan.) In a fast-paced talk, Eagleman explores the powers and tyrannies of deadlines, how brains simulate the future (sometimes badly), why holding "open loops" is costly, and why the enemy of productivity is unpredictability.

Emotion, Motivation, and Reputation: What Matters to the Mind of the Consumer

What motivates people to care about a brand? Why do people show loyalty to corporations? What is the role of emotion in decision-making? Brain scientist David Eagleman marshals surprising new data from social neuroscience to show that people use the same brain circuitry to relate to brands as they do to one another. This suggests strong motivation for companies to work on reputation, loyalty and trust—subconscious issues which powerfully navigate customer decisions, but are missed by traditional methods of market research. Traditional research fails for two reasons: (1) it usually probes the conscious mind of the customer, which is not, in the end, what drives actual purchasing decisions, and (2) it is geared to measure the immediate influence of branding changes, while investments in social reputation pay off on a slower time scale. In this talk, Dr. Eagleman translates cutting-edge neuroscience into everyday examples to illuminate customer motivations, emotions, and decision-making from new angles.

The Cognitive Neuroscience of Financial Decisions

Why do people store their money in Christmas accounts that earn no interest? What do Odysseus and the sub-prime mortgage meltdown have in common? What is the cost of time, brain-wise? Do impulsive people view waiting as having a higher cost? Why do patients on Parkinson's medications become compulsive gamblers? How could President Obama have improved the delivery of his 18 month promise to withdraw from Afghanistan? What happens when two people enter economic exchanges, and what have we learned about the roles of trust and reputation? How can we take lessons from brain science to make better decisions? In this talk, Dr. Eagleman translates cutting-edge neuroscience into everyday examples to illuminate financial decision-making from new angles.


David Eagleman talks about how to emulate a human brain ...

"I actually think it's a possibility that we'll have a simulation of a brain before we understand it," neuroscientist David Eagleman told Tech Insider in a recent ...

David Eagleman Would Like to Introduce You to Your Brain

Dr. David Eagleman wants to make you more conscious. The Baylor College of Medicine neuroscientist has built a successful career out of studying how we perceive the world, earning himself a personal lab and over 100 publications in academic journals.


Today at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, PBS announced the production of its newest science series, THE BRAIN WITH DR. DAVID EAGLEMAN (w.t.), six one-hour episodes that tell the story of the inner workings of the brain and take viewers on a visually spectacular journey into why they feel and think the things they do.

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