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I am a post-doctoral researcher, studying educational neuroscience, especially numerical cognition and synesthesia in Nashville, Tennessee, with Bruce McCandliss at Vanderbilt University. Prior to that, I was a post-doctoral researcher with Stanislas Dehaene at INSERM Unit 562. I received my PhD from the University of California, San Diego working with V.S. Ramachandran (see also Vilayanur S. Ramachandran) and Geoffrey Boynton at the Salk Institute. Before that, I did my undergraduate studies in cognitive science at the University of California, Berkeley.
My main areas of research include:
- Synesthesia: In particular, grapheme-color synesthesia in which letters and numbers elicit colors. This research has been published both in specialist journals such as Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Neuron, Cortex and the Journal of Consciousness Studies, and in the propular press, including in Scientific American and Scientific American Mind. I am also a founding member of the American Synesthesia Association, and served to help organize several conferences and symposia on topics relating to synesthesia, including the upcoming 2010 conference at Vanderbilt University.
- Numerical cognition: The neural bases of human abilities to process numbers. In particular, I have studied the human mental number-line, or the fact that everyone unconsciously associates numbers with space. Some of my work on this topic has appeared in Science, Nature Reviews Neuroscience and Journal of Neuroscience. Interestingly some synesthetes also associate numbers with space, but for them, this is a conscious association. My current research suggests that this linkage between numbers and space depends on the parietal lobe involved with numerical processing and spatial processing.
Below is a list of some of the projects that I am currently working on.
And here, you can see how many page views some of these projects get:
- Educational neuroscience: Gavin Price has worked extensively on this page. I've started working to improve it. See my old, incomplete draft at User:Edhubbard/Mind Brain and Education
- Synesthesia: Major revision of page. I've had Sandy give me some informal peer review (see my talk page) and am working on addressing all of her comments. I would like to see it get to GA, perhaps even FA status.
- History of synesthesia research: A history of synesthesia research (created)
- Grapheme-color synesthesia: An entry on the most intensely studied form of synesthesia, grapeheme-color synesthesia.
- Number form: An entry which relates to synesthesia, and which I have cleaned up and started to integrate more completely with the synesthesia page.
- Ordinal linguistic personification: Another form of synesthesia, which I have been working on recently in my professional life. (created)
- Lexical-gustatory synesthesia: Another form of synesthesia, entry is a fork to illustrate various forms of synesthesia. (created)
- Neural basis of synesthesia: Neural mechanisms of synesthesia. (forked from previously created section of synesthesia main page).
- American Synesthesia Association: The first organization dedicated to the study of synesthesia in the United States. (created)
- Synesthesia in art: A discussion of the artistic uses of synesthesia, and art that attempts to convey the synesthetic experiene. (created)
- Synesthesia in literature: A list of portrayals of synesthesia in both fiction and non-fiction literature. Needs ISBNs and brief discussion of each book. (created)
- Numerical cognition: my first "from scratch" entry. The current version, while correct in what there is, leaves a great deal to be done. Especially lacking is information about higher level mathematical thought, such as infinity.
- *Numeracy: Related to numerical cognition, as the important social outcome of our numerical abilities. Seems relatively well-done, so low on my priority list.
- Attention: Minor edits to an already well done page.
- Mind-wandering: Sometimes referred to as "spontaneous thought". Clean up and formatting.
- Phantom limb and Mirror box: These are two entries that are related to Vilayanur S. Ramachandran's work. Both of these are major rewrites, and relate to the next project on my list, which is to work on the V.S. Ramachandran entry. There are still some additions and clean-up that could be done, but they're getting to be in good shape. Turning now more towards V.S. Ramachandran.
- Out-of-body experience: Added neuroscientific explanation of OBEs, based on work by Olaf Blanke and colleagues. Tagged article extensively to encourage other editors to find appropriate references to their pro-psi claims.
- Homo floresiensis: this article came up for FARC from its original FA status in Dec. 2004. Overall, the article has grown as each new paper on the "hobbit" has appeared, but did not ever recieve a cohesive re-write and references are spotty. It was successfully reviewed on October 23, 2006.
- Eliminative materialism: Already a good article when I arrived. I have made a few additions/clarifications regarding the predictive nature of EM, and which philosophers predict what, and helped to clean up/add in-line cites, when the new GA standards came along.
- Free will: The article was up for FAR, so I added some expertise on the neuroscience and free will section, and the role that neuroscience plays in changing our understanding of moral responsibility. The majority of the work on the FAR (sucessful, Aug. 26, 2006) was really carried out by User:Lacatosias. Way to go Francesco!
- Vilayanur S. Ramachandran: One of my two PhD advisors. Other wikipedians have already created an entry for him, but asked for someone to write more about his work. Since I know his work very well, I have agreed to take this on.
- Stanislas Dehaene: Professor at the College de France and my post-doc advisor. I have created a brief stub, but it could use a lot of work. In particular, the entry jumps back and forth between his research and awards.
- I am an avid NASCAR fan (I know, strange) and I have made a number of edits on those pages, especially Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, the California boys who drive for the best team in NASCAR.
Some other members of the (very extended) family tree are here.