My current research primarily focuses on:
Applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning in digital neuropathology
Visual perception, visual illusions, and cognitive disagreements
Inattentional blindness and attention capture
Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology of visual aesthetics
Programmatic creation of aesthetically pleasing patterns and designs
File Drawer / Backburner research topics:
Neural Correlates of visual consciousness
Cognitive electrophysiology of various meditation techniques
Additional topics I have researched:
Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy
Novel Epilepsy treatments
The Visible Gorilla
After nine years, the extensive project I began working on in June 2014 with NYU neuroscientist Prof. Pascal Wallisch Ph.D, was recently accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). This project on visual attention challenges major aspects of the widely accepted theory of inattentional blindness (IB), by suggesting that people can indeed perceive unexpected stimuli even when they are engrossed in an attentionally-demanding task. The field of IB research has significant implications in various domains, including psychology, neuroscience, human factors, and safety research. The findings of our experiments contradict the conventional understanding of IB that individuals often fail to notice unexpected stimuli when their attention is focused on a specific task or target. While previous IB research emphasized the role of attentional focus in determining the likelihood of noticing unexpected stimuli, our findings highlight the importance of speed as a bottom-up factor that strongly influences detectability. Our study, which to our knowledge is the largest IB dataset ever collected (total n = 4,493), demonstrated that individuals are able to notice unexpected events, provided the unexpected stimulus is moving quickly. These findings carry significant implications, particularly in scenarios where this phenomenon has been used to explain accidents and errors. Our study suggests a greater capacity in individuals to detect fast-moving unexpected events, even when their attention is directed elsewhere. The findings of our experiments challenge the traditional understanding of IB by highlighting the significance of speed as a determinant of detectability. By broadening our understanding of the factors influencing perception, we contributed to the advancement of psychology and provide insights that can be applied to improve safety and performance in real-world contexts.
Crocks and Socks
My research on perceptual disagreements involving the Crocs and Socks illusion has gained notable attention. It has been featured in Scientific American as well as the main subject of an entire chapter of the book "How Minds Change" by best-selling author, David McRaney.
My paper, Scintillating Starbursts: Concentric Star Polygons Induce Illusory Ray Patterns has been met with much attention. My article is currently in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by eAltmetric, the leader in measuring the quality and quantity of online attention of academic publications.
Preprint available. Revision currently in peer-review
Cihan, E., Hesdorffer, D.C., Brandsoy, M., Li, L., Fowler, D.R., Graham, J.K., Karlovich, M., Donner, E.J., Devinsky, O. & Friedman, D., (2020). Socioeconomic disparities in SUDEP in the US. Neurology 94, no. 24 (2020): e2555-e2566.
Cihan, E., Devinsky, O., Hesdorffer, D.C., Brandsoy, M., Li, L., Fowler, D.R., Graham, J.K., Karlovich, M.W., Yang, J.E., Keller, A.E. and Donner, E.J. & Friedman, D., (2020). Temporal trends and autopsy findings of SUDEP based on medico-legal investigations in the United States. Neurology, 95(7), e867-e877.
Preprint available. In Review.
Tolete, P., Knupp, K., Karlovich, M., DeCarlo, E., Bluvstein, J., Conway, E., Friedman, D., Dugan, P. & Devinsky, O., (2018). Lorcaserin therapy for severe epilepsy of childhood onset: A case series. Neurology, 91(18), 837-839.