BrainBox Initiative Conference speaker Dr Benedikt Zoefel

We are proud to introduce BrainBox Initiative Conference early career speaker Dr Benedikt Zoefel. Benedikt will be joining us from the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge and is lucky enough to be the first speaker in the BBI Conference programme!

PhD Thesis: Phase entrainment and Perceptual Cycles in Audition and Vision

Institution of study: Centre de Recherche Cerveau et Cognition, CNRS, Toulouse, France

Year obtained: January 2016

Current institution: MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK

Current Research Area/Activity: Neural Oscillations in Auditory Perception and Cognition

Tell us about your research and why you chose this particular area: I’m interested in how our brain can cope with the vast amount of information it continuously receives. Neural oscillations represent rhythmic fluctuations in the excitability of neural ensembles; I’m fascinated by the idea that the brain might use these oscillations as a filter mechanism, thereby actively enhancing and inhibiting important and irrelevant events, respectively

What inspired you to enter the BrainBox Initiative Speaker programme? Brain stimulation is a relatively young field of research and there are only a handful of meetings per year that address this topic. The BrainBox Initiative is a great effort to bring together researchers from various backgrounds in order to present and discuss recent advances in the field.

What equipment do you currently use? I’m currently using the neuroConn DC Stimulator MR, sometimes in combination with fMRI.

What are some current exciting areas of brain stimulation research? In general, it is very exciting to have the opportunity to modulate brain activity and therefore study the causal role of this activity for various processes. Important questions for the future are whether we can really enhance, or only disturb, perception and behaviour, and how we can tailor our stimulation protocols to individual brains.

Do you have any advice for other early career researchers? Have fun in what you do: Motivation is the key to success.

What do enjoy when you’re not in the lab? Apart from spending time with my family and friends, I’m actively involved in the Early Music “scene”, playing Renaissance and Baroque music in different groups.

Dr Benedikt Zoefel will be speaking at the BrainBox Initiative Conference on the 27-28 September at the Wellcome Collection, London.