A six-part PBS series

A six-part PBS series

David is the author and presenter of this international 6 hour series and the companion book. He poses a simple question from a neuroscientist's point of view: what does it mean to be human?
Brain and Behavior: A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective

Brain and Behavior: A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective

A comprehensive textbook highlighting the principles, discoveries, and remaining mysteries of modern cognitive neuroscience.
David Eagleman's SUM

David Eagleman's SUM

This work of fiction is an international bestseller published in 27 languages. It has been turned into musical performances at the Sydney Opera House and the Royal Opera House in London. Learn more about it.


David is founder and co-director of the Center for Science and Law, which studies how new discoveries in neuroscience can navigate the way we make laws, punish criminals, and develop rehabilitation.


A person with synesthesia might feel the flavor of food on her fingertips, sense the letter J as shimmering magenta or the number 5 as emerald green, hear and taste her husband's voice as buttery golden brown. Learn more.

Eagleman - photo by Brian GoldmanDavid Eagleman is a neuroscientist and a New York Times bestselling author. He heads the Center for Science and Law, a national non-profit institute, and serves as an adjunct professor at Stanford University. He is best known for his work on sensory substitution, time perception, brain plasticity, synesthesia, and neurolaw.

He is the writer and presenter of the international PBS series, The Brain with David Eagleman, and the author of the companion book, The Brain: The Story of You.

Beyond his 100+ academic publications, he has published many popular books. His bestselling book Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, explores the neuroscience "under the hood" of the conscious mind: all the aspects of neural function to which we have no awareness or access. His work of fiction, SUM, is an international bestseller published in 28 languages and turned into two operas. Why the Net Matters examines what the advent of the internet means on the timescale of civilizations. The award-winning Wednesday is Indigo Blue explores the neurological condition of synesthesia, in which the senses are blended. The Runaway Species, co-authored with music composer Anthony Brandt, explores the neuroscience and behavior behind human creativity.

Eagleman is a TED speaker, a Guggenheim Fellow, a winner of the McGovern Award for Excellence in Biomedical Communication, a Next Generation Texas Fellow, Vice-Chair on the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Neuroscience & Behaviour, a research fellow in the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, Chief Scientific Advisor for the Mind Science Foundation, and a board member of The Long Now Foundation. He has served as an academic editor for several scientific journals. He was named Science Educator of the Year by the Society for Neuroscience, and was featured as one of the Brightest Idea Guys by Italy's Style magazine.  He is founder of the company BrainCheck and the cofounder of the company NeoSensory.  He was the scientific advisor for the television drama Perception, and has been profiled on the Colbert Report, NOVA Science Now, the New Yorker, CNN's Next List, and many other venues. He appears regularly on radio and television to discuss literature and science.


Eagleman and Brian Eno bring Sum to Sydney Opera House

In June, 2009, David Eagleman collaborated with musician/producer Brian Eno to perform a musical reading of Sum to 1,000 people at the Sydney Opera House. In May of 2010 they performed together again to 1,200 people at the Brighton Dome in England. Stay tuned for further performances.

SUM at the Royal Opera House

ROHSUM has been turned into an opera at the Royal Opera House in London (Composer: Max Richter, Director: Wayne McGregor). The London Evening Standard hails the opera as "immersive, meditative and sweetly fascinating". Read about the background of the collaboration in Wired.


The secret life of the lab

Want to know more about the inner workings of a neuroscience lab? Watch a video profile of David and his students on NOVA Science Now.
Nova Science Now

New Yorker magazine profile

Read a profile of David in The New Yorker: The Possibilian: What a brush with death taught David Eagleman about the mysteries of time and the brain by Burkhard Bilger.
Eagleman in the New Yorker

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From the Eagleman Blog

Had a great time at the NYT summit with friend and fellow author Charles Duhigg.

Really good companies are the ones that are constantly reinventing themselves. I spoke with Charles Duhigg about habit, unconscious process

The Brain and the Now

I recently spoke at the Long Now Foundation's 20th anniversary event.

Discussing dreaming with Henry Rollins

I spent an evening speaking at the Rubin Museum in NYC with punk rock legend, writer, and spoken word artist Henry Rollins.  We discussed the ori

Houston Modern Luxury's Men of Style

I had the honor of being selected as one of Houston Modern Luxury's Men of Style.

James Holmes’ Brain: Some Initial Speculations

In the wake of the Aurora movie theater shooting, many people had the same questions: What kind of derangement is indicated by the horrific acts of Ja

Six Easy Steps to Avert the Collapse of Civilization

Watch a talk I gave at the Long Now Foundation about my hopes that the advent of the internet will mitigate threats that brought down previo

Kernel's Quest to Enhance Human Intelligence

I'm a scientific advisor for Kernel, and I think Bryan Johnson is one of the most future-leaning guys I know.

After school shootings: Why mental illness matters

School shootings spark debate ranging from gun control to bulletproof windows. But the most fruitful approach may be to prioritize our discussion of m

Perception on TNT

I was the scientific advisor for the TNT television drama,Perception, starring Eric McCormack and Rachael Leigh Cook. Learn more about the show.

Time to End the War on Drugs?

To liberalise or prohibit?  I joined Eliot Spitzer, Julian Assange, Vicente Fox, Russell Brand, Richard Branson and several others for an online

Possibilianism at PopTech

I spoke at PopTech on the limits of science, the problems of false dichotomies, and my new movement of possibilianism. See the video.

Time perception on the Discovery Channel

Watch an experiment in which we studied time perception by dropping volunteer subjects from a 150 foot high tower.  Free fall.

Learn more about the Science

Antiphospholipid Syndrome

Far to the left-field of my normal research, I'm pursuing a new hypothesis: whether there is a connection between  people who get envenomated by the asp caterpillar, and the acquisition of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)

Time perception

To understand the neural mechanisms of time perception, David's lab combines psychophysical, behavioral, and computational approaches to address the relationship between the timing of perception and the underlying neural signals.


David is founder and co-director of the Center for Science and Law, which studies how new discoveries in neuroscience can navigate the way we make laws, punish criminals, and develop rehabilitation.


In synesthesia, information between the senses is blended. Letters might trigger the experience of colors, or sounds the experience of taste, or many other combinations. My laboratory has tested and verified over 20,000 synesthetes, and we are working to understand how it sheds light on consciousness, from the genetics to the neural networks. 

Sensory Substitution

  Can sensory data be fed through unusual sensory channels?  And can the brain learn to extract the meaning of such information streams? Yes and yes. Sensory substitution is a non-invasive technique for circumventing the loss of one sense by feeding its information through another channel. 

Deep brain recording in humans

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) targets deep nuclei in the brain to help with Parkinsons Disease or tremor. During surgery, we have a window to measure the responses of single neurons in the human brain. While the recording electrodes are in place, we present sights and sounds to a patient while the responses of the neurons are recorded.  Find out more.

Other Projects

Other projects in our lab include the use of real-time feedback neuroimaging to break drug addiction, intervention programs in high-violence neighborhoods, word aversion, illusory motion reversal, the flash lag effect, a theory of cerebellar glomeruli, extracellular calcium as a neurotransmitter, and dopamine and human decision-making. Click to learn more.

Colbert Report

Watch David discussing Incognito, neural parliaments, and reality on the Colbert Report.

Style Magazine

David Eagleman Italian Style Magazine Cover
David has been named one of the Brainiest and Brightest Idea Guys by Italy's Style magazine.