Hello! I am a PhD Student in the Cognitive Science department at UC San Diego, working in the Voytek Lab, where we largely focus on understanding the role of neural oscillations in neural computation, cognition and disease. I also have interests in the broader areas of Cognitive Science. I also teach quite a lot, blog sometimes, and like to chat science. If you want the quickest summary of my professional life conveniently written down, you can check out my CV.

Research Overview

Basically, I would like to know how the brain works. In particular, how does it go about organizing all it’s seemingly chaotic activity in order to systematically allow us to do everything that we do?

I mainly work on the hypothesis that neural oscillations - rhythmic neural activity - may serve as an organizing principle for neural computation. I investigate this using a mixture of running new experiments with human subjects while we record their brain activity, and also by analysing data from open-access databases. In practice, this means I spend most of my time on the computer, working on code to try and figure out what is going on in the data.

You can find out more about my research here.

General Philosophy

I’m a big fan of interdisciplinary approaches, being trained in an interdisciplinary Cognitive Science approach, and am probably too scatter-brained to take any other approach. I think there is a lot of power in cutting across disciplines - especially by working on difficult problems with diverse, interdisciplinary teams.

I try to approach all my work focusing on values of transparency and accessibility. Towards these ends, I use open-data and open-source tools, and will, as much as possible, release all the data and code for all my projects, as well as provide broadly accessible write-ups about our research and what we learn.

I think that science is better when it is open and accessible to all, which means valuing inclusion, diversity and equality. I don’t always know how to help with that - what actions to take, when to take them and when to simply get out of the way - but I’m always trying to learn how to be better at this.


If you’d like to get in touch, you can e-mail me at thomasdonoghue(at)hotmail.ca.

You can also find me on Twitter, Github, and/or Instagram.