Human intracranial electrophysiology
My present research explores the effects of electrical stimulation in the living human brain. I try to understand how intracranial brain stimulation affects cognition and emotion, and how this knowledge can be harnessed to help create better implanted brain stimulation devices to treat neuropsychiatric conditions.
• Fox et al. (2020). Intrinsic network architecture predicts the effects elicited by intracranial electrical stimulation of the human brain. Nature Human Behaviour, 4, 1039-1052.
• Yih et al. (2019). Intensity of affective experience is modulated by magnitude of intracranial electrical stimulation in human orbitofrontal, cingulate, and insular cortices. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 14, 339-351.
• Fox et al. (2018). Changes in subjective experience elicited by direct stimulation of the human orbitofrontal cortex. Neurology, 91, 1519-1527.
• Fox et al. (2018). Intracranial electrophysiology of the human default network. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 22, 307-324.
Meditation & Mindfulness
How does the human brain implement a mental skill as complex as meditation? How does long-term meditation practice, in turn, affect brain structure and function? I've studied meditation using a mix of cognitive testing, functional and anatomical MRI, and quantitative meta-analysis of neuroimaging data. I'm also very interested in the potential application of meditation in medical settings, and the associated hype and ethical dilemmas.
• Fox & Cahn (2020). Meditation and the brain in health and disease. In: The Oxford Handbook of Meditation (Farias, Brazier, & Lalljee, Editors).
• Van Dam et al. (2018). Mind the hype: A critical evaluation and prescriptive agenda for mindfulness and meditation research. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 13, 66-69.
• Fox et al. (2016). Functional neuroanatomy of meditation: A review and meta-analysis of 78 functional neuroimaging investigations. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 65, 208-228.
• Fox et al. (2014). Is meditation associated with altered brain structure? A systematic review and meta-analysis of morphometric neuroimaging in meditation practitioners. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 43, 48-73.
Whale and Dolphin Brain Evolution
Whales and dolphins (cetaceans) have the largest brains that ever evolved, exceeding even humans. And they are second only to humans in terms of their complex social lives. Before entering the research world I worked doing field research on humpback whales and have been fascinated with the social lives and big brains of cetaceans ever since. This work culminated in a major paper linking cetacean social behavior to brain size. I hope to focus more of my energy on research into brain evolution and the functionality of large brains in the future.
• Fox (2020). The social cetaceans. Inference: International Review of Science, 5(3).
• Fox, Muthukrishna, & Shultz (2017). The social and cultural roots of whale and dolphin brains. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1, 1699-1705.