Aaron Kucyi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and is a Core Faculty Member within the Applied Cognitive and Brain Sciences Program. He completed a Ph.D. at the University of Toronto followed by postdoctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School and Stanford University.
Kucyi directs the Dynamic Brain and Mind Lab, a cognitive and clinical neuroscience research program. The Lab has a scientific focus on the on the neuroscience of spontaneous thought and its interactions with attention and memory systems. Spontaneous thoughts, and related experiences such as mind wandering and rumination, occupy up to half of a person’s typical waking life and are fundamental to everyday cognitive function and mental health. The Lab’s major goals are to (1) Improve theoretical understanding of how spontaneous cognition arises from brain dynamics; (2) Develop novel tools to enable real-time, brain-based detection of spontaneous cognitive events; and (3) Facilitate the development of personalized neuromodulation tools that can promote healthy patterns of thinking.
Kucyi’s research involves multiple techniques in human neuroscience such as fMRI (including real-time fMRI), scalp EEG, intracranial EEG, pupillometry, and multimodal integration (including simultaneous EEG-fMRI). Behavioral paradigms include experience sampling and various assessments of mental health, attention and memory functions. Computational approaches draw extensively from machine learning/predictive modeling, signal processing, network science, and advances in personalized neuroimaging such as precision functional mapping.
Kucyi has authored over 60 journal articles and book chapters that have appeared in publications such as Journal of Neuroscience, Nature Communications, Nature Mental Health, and PNAS. This research has been supported by funding from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH-NIMH), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), a Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (NARSAD) Young Investigator Grant, and an Antelo Devereux Award for Junior Faculty from Drexel University.