First of all, what in the world is neuromodulation?
Neuromodulation is technology that acts directly upon nerves. It is the alteration (modulation) of nerve activity by delivering electrical or pharmaceutical agents directly to a target area.
Neuromodulation is used to treat and enhance quality of life in individuals who suffer severe chronic illness due to persistent pain, spasticity, movement disorders, epilepsy, ischaemia, cardiac, bowel and bladder dysfunction, spinal injury, visual, auditory and specific psychiatric disorders.
Tonight, we have a special guest, Jay Sanguinitti, teaching us about the learning of how we can use neuromodulation to accelerate mindfulness via the research that he and Shinzen have been working on.
By studying one of the most severe disorders of consciousness, called athymhormia (a motivation disorder), Dr. Sanguinetti and Shinzen Young identified a brain network that could be regulated to enhance meditation outcomes. Their project employs a highly novel form of neuromodulation that focuses ultrasonic energy to downregulate the identified network in order to enhance meditation.
Dr. Sanguinetti will first review ultrasonic neuromodulation. Then, he will discuss athymhormia and how it can be used as a model for enhancing meditation. Finally, he will discuss his current research project using focused ultrasound to enhance meditation in an expert group.
The wide-ranging implications and ethical challenges of this research program will be considered.
— Jay Sanguinetti received his PhD in cognition and neural systems in 2014 from the University of Arizona. His doctoral research focused on neural oscillations related to visual perception.
During his graduate training, he also used invasive and noninvasive neurostimulation to study a wide range of topics, including cognitive control, attention, working memory, emotion, and mood. Jay has been at the forefront of the growing field of transcranial ultrasound for human neurostimulation, conducting one of the first human experiments to date.
As a postdoc at the University of Arizona, he used concurrent EEG-fMRI to study the neural basis of depression. He is now Research Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico and Postdoctoral Fellow for the Army Research Laboratory.
His current research uses transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial electrical stimulation, and ultrasound to investigate and enhance human cognition. Finally, Jay is the Assistant Director at the Center for Consciousness Studies in Tucson, Arizona, which organizes the largest international conference on the science of consciousness.
6:30: Check in, snacks, meet awesome humans
6:45: Introduction, structured mingling
8:00: Breakout Discussions
9:00: Mingling, snacks, meet awesome humans
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