What do I study?
I call it ‘high performance cognition’. Like all higher cognition, it covers a multitude, so first we must find a path forward.

High performance cognition (HPC) is a valuable human faculty: it is a component of expert/optimal performance, ‘deep’ work, and Flow; however it is threatened by increasing information overload of modern life. HPC arises when a highly demanding cognitive task is performed with high skill, and is hypothesized to be due to tuning of attention. Yet true understanding is elusive because currently HPC can only be identified by subjective reports after-the-fact, making it difficult to study the precise neural mechanisms.

See my projects (past, ongoing, & upcoming)

About me.

Docent (adjunct professor) of cognitive neuroscience. Obtained a Bachelors in Information and Communications Technology from Trinity College Dublin in 2003, and defended my PhD in Computer Science at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, in 2009. Postdoctoral positions at Helsinki School of Economics and Aalto University, Helsinki (2009–2012); habilitation at the University of Helsinki (2012–2013); later, Specialist Researcher at Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (2014–2017).

In 2015, I obtained the title of Docent from the Cognitive Science unit,University of Helsinki, and remain affiliated there and with the Cognitive Brain Research Unit.

Memorable moments include: coordinating Finland’s first clinical trial on neurofeedback therapy for attentional disorder; publishing a mini-handbook on psychophysiological methods; going fact-finding for an as-yet-unrealised dream project on neuro-anthropology in Colombia.


ben.cowley [at]

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