What I Do

My research aims to discover how we can nurture the innate talent present in every brain. In this effort, I spend most of my time at the Brogaard Lab for Multisensory Research at the University of Miami, where I serve as Associate Director. There I’m working on empirical research projects focused on synesthesia and savant syndrome, blindsight and deaf-hearing, the effects of psychoactive drugs, and autism. I’m also a Research Fellow at the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. There I assist in developing new methods of big data analysis and creating cognitive measures of recidivism with the goal of improving the criminal justice system.

Hear me on NPR

 Synesthesia is a complex condition in which the senses are mixed. In this episode of St. Louis on the Air, I speak with Don Marsh about how synesthesia research might provide insight as to how the brain works.


Order the Superhuman Mind

Co-authored with Neuroscientist Berit Brogaard at the University of Miami, The Superhuman Mind: Free the Genius in Your Brain (Penguin Random House) is now available on Amazon, BAM, Barnes and Noble and IndieBound! In the book, Brogaard and I discuss the lives and brains of geniuses, savants, virtuosos, and a wide variety of ordinary people who have acquired truly extraordinary talents, one way or another. Delving into the neurological underpinnings of these abilities, we reveal how we can acquire some of them ourselves—from perfect pitch and lightning fast math skills to supercharged creativity. Join the book's Facebook Page to keep up with the project!

First Known Female Savant

Learn about Jason Padgett, Artistic Savant

Take Part in Research

Do you live in Miami? You can help us better understand the human mind by contributing your time! We're always looking for neurotypical participants as well as those with synesthesia, savant syndrome or autism.
Contact my lab >

Connecting Neuroscience with Law

The Initiative on Neuroscience and Law brings together neuroscientists, legal scholars, programmers, ethicists, judges, and policymakers with the goal of constructing a cost-effective legal system with higher utility and lower cost. From the vantage point of science, we are developing new technologies that can directly intersect with the criminal justice system in a novel way.

Learn more about the initiative >

NeuroLaw on the Colbert Report

Meet Derek Amato, Musical Savant