Faculty & Labs


Bradley Voytek

Assistant Professor

Homepage: http://darb.ketyov.com/
Email: bvoytek@ucsd.edu

Office: CSB 169

Research Interests

Oscillatory network communication, automated science, data-mining, aging, attention, working memory, cognitive brain-computer interfaces, brain/cognition/society interactions.

Research

My research program is focused on combining large scale data-mining and machine-learning techniques with hypothesis-driven experimental research to understand the relationships between the human frontal lobes, cognition, and disease.

In collaboration with my wife, Jessica Bolger Voytek, we built and published brainSCANr, an algorithmic approach to aggregating information from more than 2 million peer-reviewed neuroscience articles. This project was my first attempt at automated science: using machine-learning tools to algorithmically generate novel hypotheses. My philosophy with regards to the role of data-driven approaches to neuroscience is that large scale data analytics can complement and guide in-lab experimental research, but should not replace it.

Ultimately my research goal is to construct an understanding of cognition built on the first principles of neurophysiology. Rather than asking, "What brain regions correlate with working memory or attentional load?" I ask, "Given what we know about the computational properties of neurons and neural systems, how can neural systems interact to give rise to cognitive phenomena we equate with 'attention' and 'working memory', and what are the behavioral and cognitive limitations and consequences of these biological constraints?"

Outreach:

In addition to my research, I'm avid about data and science communication and outreach on my blog, Oscillatory Thoughts, TwitterQuora, and sometimes even real life.

I love my job and I can't sing its praises any more and want to share with others my enthusiasm for the wonder of scientific discovery.

Now, for the vanity stuff. I speak at a lot of events ranging from elementary schools to venues such as TEDx@GoogleTalks, Foo Camp, and SciFooMy writing and research has appeared in The New York TimesForbesNature, WiredThe Washington PostTim O'Reilly's RadarScientific AmericanThe New YorkerThe Guardian, and The Atlantic.

My non-academic… uh... interests, include explaining the zombie brain. This "research" has appeared on TED, National GeographicWired, the Academy of NeurologyForbesSlateNPR, and New York Magazine.

Selected Publications:

  • Cohen MX & Voytek B (2013). Linking nonlinear neural dynamics to single-trial human behavior. In Multiscale Analysis and Nonlinear Dynamics: from Molecules to the Brain (editors, Schuster HG & Pesenson M) New York (USA): Wiley. (PDF)
  • Voytek B, D'Esposito M, Crone NE, Knight RT (2013). A method for event-related phase/amplitude coupling. NeuroImage 64, 416-424. (PDF)
  • Voytek JB, Voytek B (2012). Automated cognome construction and semi-automated hypothesis generation. J Neurosci Methods 208(1), 92-100. (PDF)
  • Voytek B & Knight RT (2010). Prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia contributions to visual working memory. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107(42), 18167-18172. (PDF)
  • Voytek B, Davis M, Yago E, Barceló F, Vogel EK, Knight RT (2010). Dynamic neuroplasticity after human prefrontal cortex damage. Neuron 68(3), 401-408. (PDF)
  • Voytek B, Secundo L, Bidet-Caulet A, Scabini D, Stiver S, Gean AD, Manley G, Knight RT (2010). Hemicraniectomy: A new model for human electrophysiology with high spatio-temporal resolution. J Cogn Neurosci 22(11), 2491-2502. (PDF)
  • Voytek B, Canolty RT, Shestyuk A, Crone NE, Parvizi J, Knight RT (2010). Shifts in gamma phase-amplitude coupling frequency from theta to alpha over posterior cortex during visual tasks. Front Hum Neurosci 4(191), 1-9. (PDF)
  • Voytek B & Knight RT (2010). Dynamic communication and connectivity in frontal networks. In Mind and the Frontal Lobes: Cognition, Behavior, and Brain Imaging (editors, Levine B & Craik FIM) New York (USA): Oxford University Press. (PDF)