Open Lab Notebook

This page is my primary documentation of my thought processes related to my PhD work, currently clustered under the working title ‘How the assumptions we make about our brains affect our society and the ways we treat each other’.

In my research group, we study how nervous systems “in the wild” (as opposed to in the laboratory) are robust and flexible enough to deal with unexpected situations. Within this area, I study how we imagine and train for the unexpected. My goals are:

  • to build a culture of collaboration, trust, and rigorous play in neuroscience;

  • to engage with historical context and in questioning the status quo, both in and out of science;

  • to develop theories and methodologies for field neuroscience, which would complement laboratory neuroscience by verifying the ethological validity of behaviour studies and of humane research techniques; and

  • to connect how we study the brain to the subjective experience of living with one.

Writings

“Does modern neuroscience really help us understand behavior?” Co-written with Gonçalo Lopes. Published by MassiveSci.com.

“How theater, startup culture, and business history helped us become better neuroscientists” Co-written with Gonçalo Lopes. Published by MassiveSci.com.

“HIVE Tracker: a tiny, low-cost, and scalable device for sub-millimetric 3D positioning” Co-written with Darío R. Quiñones Colomer, Gonçalo Lopes, and Cedric Honnet. Published by Augmented Human 2018. DOI: 10.1145/3174910.3174935.

“Why I refuse to do animal testing in my science career” Published by MassiveSci.com on the occassion of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s first publication of Frankenstein.

Presentations

“What can we learn about brains by studying the movements of bodies?” Presented at the opening plenary session of the 2o Congresso Nacional de Psicomotricidade in Vila Real, Portugal.

“The Cuttle Shuttle: Behavior and Learning in Predatory Sepia officinalis (Cephalopoda)” Presented at the 2017 CephsInAction & CIAC meeting “Cephalopod Science from Biology to Welfare”, Heraklion, Crete.

“The Power to explore, test, and realize your scientific fantasies” Presented at the 2017 Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown Student Retreat in Mafra, Portugal.

Danbee speaks at the CCU 2017 Student Retreat
Image credit to Gonçalo Guiomar

“Validating Neuroscience Experimental Paradigms Across Species” Presented at a seminar at the N Center of Sungkyunkwan University on February 12, 2018.

Danbee gives a seminar at the N Center of Sungkyunkwan University
Image credit to Jinwon Kim

“How Cuttlefish Play With Light” Presented at the UCL International Day of Light celebration on May 15, 2018.

Danbee talks about cuttlefish at UCL's 2018 International Day of Light celebration.
I talked about how cuttlefish see and actively camouflage themselves in their marine home environment.

Mind Full of Music: The Neuroscience of Music “In The Wild” Presented at Orchestrating the Brain, a 2018 FitzFest event hosted by the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre and created in collaboration with April Cashin-Garbutt, SWC Communications Manager, and Dan Bates, Artistic Director of FitzFest.

Danbee talks about the Neuroscience of Music 'in the wild'
What is music? When do you listen to music? Why do you listen to music? For me, music is a language; music is coordination; music is participation; and music is personal. Photo credit: April Cashin-Garbutt.

Videos

In this video, I draw and narrate an explanation of the research goals and interests of the Intelligent Systems lab using only the top “ten-hundred” words in English.

I was asked to describe on-camera the research we do at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour in this short video introduction. Filmed and edited by Barry J Gibb.

I was interviewed for a series of short video documentaries about neuroscientists at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, Francis Crick Institute, and King’s College. Produced by Jake Fairnie, Edward Bracey, and April Cashin-Garbutt.

I was interviewed after co-hosting and speaking at Orchestrating the Brain, a 2018 FitzFest event hosted by the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre and created in collaboration with April Cashin-Garbutt, SWC Communications Manager, and Dan Bates, Artistic Director of FitzFest. Produced by Jake Fairnie and April Cashin-Garbutt.

Live Performances

Building Bridges project: A science outreach project at the London Science Museum where I spoke to groups of visiting primary school children about my research. Spring 2017.

A Backyard Brains pocket electrophysiology box
In the spring of 2017, I spoke to primary school children about my research, with the help of this pocket electrophysiology box (by Backyard Brains)

“Pilot Data, an Aronauts EP”: An original set of science songs performed at the 2017 Live Music Symposium at the Francis Crick Institute.

Wellcome Collection Friday Late Spectacular: Your Reality is Broken: A “science busking” gig on Friday, 01 December 2017, where I spoke to the general public about my research while wandering the Wellcome Trust Collection.

Soapbox Science, London 2018: Another event at which I did some “science busking”, this time along the South Bank of the Thames!

Everyone dance along to the cuttlefish dance!
I talked about cuttlefish and how they relate to my PhD research on a lovely Saturday afternoon, while standing on a soapbox along the South Bank of the Thames! We got into the nitty gritty of cuttlefish hunting behaviour with the help of laser-cut plastic models (made with assistance from Lory Calcaterra, and seen in the photo above held in the hands of my lovely volunteer assistants) and an original song and dance (which is being performed in the above photo by my lovely audience)! Photo credit: Chanuki Seresinhe

Projects

Below is documentation of my thesis work, in various stages of polish. More thoughts can be found in the “BrainPlay” section of this website.

My scientific principles PhD Thesis Proposal, Oct 30 2013 Cuttlefish Hunting Behavior Movement Control Across Timescales Surprising Minds at Sea Life Brighton Theoretical Puzzle Pieces
Click on an image to learn more about that project.

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