Neuroscience, Aesthetics, and Agency.

I work on a constellation of puzzles within the (neuro)sciences and aesthetics. In particular, I want to take a closer look at puzzles about agency, autonomy, and personal identity in both contexts.

I’m working with UW’s Biorobotics Lab and Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) to investigate the impact of deep-brain stimulation (DBS) treatment on people with essential tremor (ET)—in particular, I want to see if people with volitional control over their DBS implant (and their treatment) might come to think of themselves (and their capabilities) differently than people without that same control.

In my dissertation, I want to argue that there are aesthetic features of being an agent—that is to say, of deliberating over options, making decisions, and living with the consequences. These aesthetic features of agency, I take it, play prominently in everyday life and our interactions with new media (most notably, video games).