John Medaglia, PhD, applies models and methods developed in neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, and network science to optimize brain function. His research group studies control and the human brain – how people control themselves and how control theory can guide noninvasive brain interventions. The laboratory uses network-based approaches in diverse data modalities including neuroimaging (MRI, fNIRS, EEG), brain stimulation (TMS, tDCS), and behavioral assessment (neuropsychology, cognitive psychology) to meet these goals. Lab members additionally study public perceptions and moral attitudes toward cognitive optimization.
Impact in Science and Society
Medaglia and members of the Cognitive Neuroengineering and Wellbeing Laboratory (CogNeW) use neuroscience and psychology in individuals to promote wellbeing and improve treatments with brain stimulation. They use advanced network analysis and brain stimulation to study and improve self-control in health and disorders like dementia, ADHD, and stroke. In addition, CogNeW laboratory studies how the public and professionals view cognitive enhancement – improving the mind – with education and technology.
While new techniques are exciting, it’s important to understand the ethical and moral context of enhancing individuals. The public contributes funding and votes to what is preferable to research and use at home, in clinics, and in classrooms, but we know little about how their beliefs guide their actions. Medaglia and his team study what people think is right and wrong to do to help shape public policy and educate people about the stakes and possibilities in human enhancement. Medaglia also works closely with students to run a “Power and Privilege in Professional Psychology” series to improve equity in the field.