I am a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University in the department of Psychiatry. I am currently working on the links between social neuroscience in perinatal mental health and sleep at Phyllis Zelkowitz’ lab. I am also collaborating with Ian Gold‘s Neurophilosophy Lab (Culture, Mind and Brain research group) where I am working on projects on empathy, embodiment and social cognition.
I have received an interdisciplinary PhD from the University of Montreal in Cognitive Neuroscience and Philosophy (advisors: Tore Nielsen, Sha Xin Wei). I have been working in the Dream and Nightmare Laboratory at the Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine since 2004, where I have participated in research on sleep, dreaming, sleep paralysis, memory consolidation, nightmares, meditation and other consciousness phenomena. Since 2007 I have been collaborating with Concordia University’s Topological Media Lab.
I am also a member of the coordinating committee of the Initiative for a Synthesis in Studies of Awareness and an affiliated Research Scientist at a new Manhattan-based interdisciplinary initiative, YHouse.
My work is focused on interdisciplinary research of consciousness and experience across wake-sleep states. My research interests can be broadly divided into four main areas:
1) Neurophenomenological empirical research on experiences during sleep (dreaming, hypnagogic states, parasomnias) in a variety of populations including experienced meditation practitioners, nightmare and sleep paralysis sufferers.
2) Theoretical work on how experiences during sleep and in states characterized by an overlap between sleep and wake can be integrated into an enactive, embodied and performative framework via non-reductionist neuroscience and study of first-person reports
3) Social aspects of sleep and dreaming, including epigenetic biomarkers of stress and sleep patterns in pregnancy, relationship between sleep and delusional ideation, and the role of dreaming in empathy.
4) Study of how lived embodied subjectivity is performatively co-constituted as a shared collective practice, including research on intersubjectivity, empathy, sense of presence, immersive media installations and artistic work
Image Credit: Nerissa Escanlar