Thoughts and images spontaneously popping into our mind are characteristic of self-generated mental phenomena like mind-wandering, dreaming and hallucinations. Mind-wandering, although quite common, has only recently gotten into the forefront of scientific investigations, and philosophical reflection is lagging behind. This project proposes a new model of mind-wandering and develops it into a general framework of all kinds of self-generated mental phenomena. The project also investigates the generative processes that give rise to the highly variable content of spontaneous experiences, how these processes are related to creativity and intelligence and how they could be implemented in machines to improve artificial intelligence.
I am an engineering physicist, a philosopher and a theoretical cognitive scientist with educational background and research experience in computational modelling, artificial intelligence, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind and cognitive neuroscience. I obtained my PhD in philosophy from the University of Edinburgh in 2012.
My current research focuses on different ways in which the fields of philosophy, psychology and artificial intelligence can cross-fertilise each other. I study how conscious experiences can be brought about by neural computations, how robots interacting with humans can turn into social agents, how the decisions made by machine learning algorithms can be explained and rendered understandable for human users, and how the possibility of human-level artificial intelligence can alter our perception of machines.
Self-generated mental life: Developing an overarching philosophical account and a novel neuro-cognitive research paradigm
Area of research:
Philosophy, Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience
1 April 2021 - 31 March 2024