Brian Erickson is a research assistant professor at Drexel University, and a member of the Cognitive Neuroengineering and Wellbeing Laboratory (CogNeW). He received his PhD in cognitive science from Drexel University in 2017. Brian specializes in the combination of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG) into high temporal-precision closed-loop systems to explore and enhance attention, motor, and other human cognitive functions. Brian has made major contributions to grantwork leading to NIH R01 funding for the development of novel EEG technology. He has expertise in machine learning, statistical parametric mapping and network neuroscience approaches. He has published in diverse cognitive domains including creativity and the connectomics of aphasia.
Brian’s primary research is on closed-loop enhancement of attention. Some aspects of attention depend on frontal “Theta” frequency rhythms. For instance, our reaction times to simple stimuli are faster during a “good” phase of Theta and slower during a “bad” phase. Using closed-loop EEG, Brian’s current research proposes to influence attention function in real time by modulating these phases with TMS. This will let us learn more about how attention works. Furthermore, Brian’s research aims to enhance people’s attention by repetitively stimulating Theta at the optimal phase to make it stronger. This could lay promising groundwork for the development of brain-stimulation treatments for attention disorders or focus enhancements for people with normal attention.