Paul Sajda

Curriculum Vitae Google Scholar

Director of the Laboratory for Intelligent Imaging and Neural Computing (LIINC)

Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Professor of Electrical Engineering
Professor of Radiology (Physics)

B.S. Electrical Engineering MIT 1989
M.S. Bioengineering UPenn 1992
Ph.D. Bioengineering UPenn 1994

OFFICE: 1010 NWC Building
Mailing address (see below)

Paul Sajda is Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Radiology (Physics) at Columbia University. He is also a Member of Columbia’s Data Science Institute. Sajda is interested in what happens in our brains when we make a rapid decision and, conversely, what processes and representations in our brains drive our underlying preferences and choices, particularly when we are under time pressure. His work in understanding the basic principles of rapid decision-making in the human brain relies on measuring human subject behavior simultaneously with cognitive and physiological state. Important in his approach is his use of machine learning and data analytics to fuse these measurements for predicting behavior and infer brain responses to stimuli. Sajda applies the basic principles he uncovers to construct real-time brain-computer interfaces that are aimed at improving interactions between humans and machines. He is also applying his methodology to understand how deficits in rapid decision-making may underlie and be diagnostic of many types of psychiatric diseases and mental illnesses.

Of particular interest to Sajda is how different areas in the human brain interact to change our arousal state and modulate our decision-making. Specifically he is using simultaneous EEG and fMRI together with pupillometry to identify and track spatiotemporal interactions between the anterior cingulate cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and subcortical nuclei such as the locus coeruleus. He has found that the dynamics of these interactions are altered under stress, particularly when dealing with high-pressure decisions with critical performance boundaries. These findings are being transitioned to applications ranging from to tracking pilot cognitive state while operating fighter aircraft to identifying biomarkers of healthy thought patterns in patients being treated for major depressive disorder and/or complicated grief. Sajda is a co-founder of several neurotechnology companies and works closely with a range of scientists and engineers, including neuroscientists, psychologists, computer scientists, and clinicians.

Columbia University
351 Engineering Terrace,
MC8904, 530 W. 120th St,
New York, NY 10027

p:(212) 854-5279

f:(212) 854-8725

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