Jeremy was first introduced to the wonderful Branch Out team after being awarded funding by them in 2013 for his undergraduate research on the brain rhythm during sleep.
Meet Jeremy Viczko, Branch Out’s bestest-out-Westest Ambassador, who is pursuing his PhD in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Victoria! Okay well that sounds dandy - but what the heck is a clinical neuropsychologist anyway? Clinical neuropsychology is a specialization within the broader profession of clinical psychology, which emphasizes understanding the relationship between brain and behaviour and applying this expert knowledge for both assessment and rehabilitation services for individuals who have acquired a brain injury or are living with a neurological condition. Training as a neuropsychologist also entails a large amount of consuming (i.e., reading… not eating…) the latest scientific literature to keep up-to-date, as well as personally designing and conducting research which aims to help increase our understanding of human psychology, as well as develop, test, and improve the psychological services available to the public.
Jeremy is also interested in how we can interface modern technology with meditation. More specifically, Jeremy is interested in how increasingly popular biofeedback technologies may help or hinder experiences of engagement and/or proficiency in meditation training. For example, existing and readily available commercial and clinical equipment can give real-time feedback on brainwave activity. This may (or may not) help to sustain or improve meditative states, and, importantly, the psychological benefits associated with meditative expertise thereof. Any tools to help enhance meditative training could benefit both healthy and neurological individual’s daily wellbeing and adaptive function. However, the exact nature and capacity for biofeedback to enhance meditation still needs more critical evaluation at the basic and applied-level to ensure responsible and informed delivery of such products and services.
Stay tuned as Jeremy uncovers the science behind the meeting of two distinct worlds during his Ph.D. research: Exploring the interface of modern technology with ancient contemplative practice – adjoining neurofeedback with meditation!