T Minus 12
Chad C. Williams is a PhD student in the Neuroscience program at the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He has been a member of Dr. Krigolson’s Theoretical and Applied Neuroscience Laboratory since 2015. Chad completed both his psychology undergraduate degree in 2016 and his Neuroscience Master’s of Science degree in 2018 at the University of Victoria.
Chad’s research investigates complex decision making. Specifically, he focuses on how humans would make decisions in highly demanding environments – for example, clinicians in hospitals, pilots on a Boeing 767, and now colonists on Mars. To understand decision making, he looks into the neural systems of the brain via electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Further, he integrates his findings into computational models with the goal of optimizing decision making and predicting when mistakes will occur.
Alongside understanding the neural mechanisms underlying decision making, Chad has a passion for integrating the mind with technology. His first step into brain-computer interfaces was in 2018 when he established a way to control a robot with his mind. More specifically, he was able to control a Lego Mindstorm with brain waves which were measured using the Muse Headband. He is already pursuing the next step of this research; however, details are forthcoming.
To date, Chad has received a total of nineteen awards (totaling $197,500) including two NSERC Scholarships (Master’s and Doctoral). He is now a second year PhD student and has published thirteen manuscripts, five of which as first author, in prominent journals including Neuroimage, Computational Brain and Behavior, and Biological Psychology. He is currently collaborating with researchers across five universities and working on projects across three countries.
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Dr. Olav Krigolson is the Associate Director for the Centre for Biomedical Research, an Associate Professor in Neuroscience, and the Principle Investigator of the Theoretical and Applied Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Victoria.