Heavy Haul Sessions Speaker:
Biography: Daniel Smilek is a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Waterloo, where he heads the Vision and Attention Lab. Dr. Smilek has authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles on human attention, perception, and memory. His work has appeared in top scientific journals such as Nature and has been featured in popular media outlets such as The Economist. He has been invited to present his research around the world for both academic and non-academic audiences. Dr. Smilek’s current research focuses on the factors that influence how people pay attention while they perform tasks in their everyday lives. He and his students have explored various aspects of attentional engagement, such as (1) the ubiquitous experience of mind wandering, (2) sustained attention to tasks over protracted periods of time (i.e., vigilance), (3) attention-related errors, (4) media multitasking, and (5) peak engagement (i.e., flow). He has examined these aspects of attention in tightly controlled experimental settings, as well as in more naturalistic every day contexts including railroad operations in the US and Canada.