The idea to do this podcast came during a lab visit over dinner one evening.  I was telling a story, not a particularly exciting or controversial story, about how the idea for particular research project came from a chance conversation with another academic, in a bar late at night at a conference.  People at the table seemed to find the story interesting, although, like me and every other research academic, we tend to be nerds about this kind of stuff.  But, it struck me that so much dissemination in academia is through formal peer-reviewed channels, and despite the wealth of blogs and twitter feeds from people engaged in research, I thought that an audio podcast of researchers talking informally about their work could offer something different.

the mind machine is dedicated to the latest research in applied neurosciences, physiological computing, neuroadaptive interfaces and human factors psychology. Each episode features a conversation with a different researcher about their work. Our discussions will focus on emerging technologies, such as: brain-computer interfaces, system automation, affective computing, wearable sensors and assistive technology. The conversations will cover technical aspects of the work as well as potential societal impacts. The podcast will present academic research in a way that is both informal and accessible for both professional and non-professional listeners.  You can find the podcast at the iTunes Store here or via this link to Stitcher.

I’ll try to put up a new episode monthly but I’m recording them opportunistically, whenever I’m away at a conference or visiting a lab, or when someone visits me.  So, there may be an occasional hiatus if I run out of ‘guests’.

Episode 1

Show Notes

If you’d like to know more about Thorsten and his work, you can find his google scholar profile here.  Early in the conversation we talked about the influence of role-playing games and early imagination on later research, Thorsten mentioned two games in particular, Shadowrun and Battletech.  Thorsten also talked about his work integrating eye movements with BCI, this an older paper on that topic and a more recent one where a hands-free version of Tetris was created.

His best-known paper on passive BCI is here and this paper describes his approach to measuring mental workload.  His PNAS paper on neuroadaptive technology as a form of implicit cursor control is here