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I’m a neuroscientist at Neosensory, researching and developing devices to create new senses. I spend my time meditating, brewing kombucha and climbing rocks.

What electrical stimulation tells us about how and why we visualize

Originally published for the Aphantasia Network.

Photo by David Clode.

Stingrays and Caesars

Your internal experience is uniquely yours. Arguably, it is the thing that is most yours. Only you know precisely what you see in your mind’s eye, and only you are privy to your inner thoughts. So how would you react if you found out your mind’s eye can be manipulated? And stranger yet, what if I told you our story starts with a peculiar headache remedy from the reign of the Roman Empire?

In the first century AD, Scribonius Largus (Roman emperor Claudius’s royal physician) found a treatment for headaches in a most unexpected…

Photo by Aaron Burden.

Who is Wim Hof? It’s possible you haven’t heard his name but it’s unlikely you haven’t heard of his legendary acts. Acts of running half-marathons barefoot on snow and ice. Of sitting for hours in a tub of ice up to his neck. Of climbing Everest in shorts and no t-shirt. Of swimming half the length of a football field under the ice of a frozen-over lake. His name is Wim Hof, but he is called The Iceman.

I’m sure I can’t be the only person who thought these tales must be urban legend — that I would be a…

A summary of the steps I took to go from concept to a published app in two weeks, using React Native as my framework and Expo as my interface.

Following these steps, you’ll quickly have an app that runs on iOS and Android and which includes in-app analytics.

Creating apps has become very accessible. Empire was the first app I created and it only took me two weeks to go from idea to app store. (All images by the author.)

The game

The app I built facilitates a party game called Empire, in which players answer a question and then guess which players provided which answers. Empire is my go-to game for large groups because it is easy to learn and works well with any number of players.

The downside is that someone has to sit out during the game to collect all the answers and make up fake answers. …

Understanding the differences between focused-attention and open-monitoring meditation forms

Ta Prohm Buddhist temple in Cambodia. Photo by Łukasz Maźnica.

The Burning Monk

It’s Tuesday, June 11, 1963, and Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức steps out of a car into the middle of a Saigon intersection. He is followed by 350 Buddhist monks and nuns, all marching to end their persecution by Vietnam’s government. A monk places a cushion in the middle of the intersection.

Đức sits on the cushion and begins to meditate. Another monk takes a gas can from the car and delicately empties it onto Đức. Đức recites a short prayer, lights a match, and drops it on himself. He continues to meditate. Flames engulf his body. Bystanders scream and…

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