Hello! My name is Sharon Su, and I am extremely excited to be an intern in the TANC lab. My interest in neuroscience stems from a childhood encounter in my aunt’s restaurant. As an obnoxious and curious child, I would often bother customers while they were eating and press them for information about their lives. One particularly rainy day, I met a visiting neuroscientist from Germany and he briefly explained his research to me– of course, in terms that a child could understand. He explained what neurons were, what they did, and how they worked. I was soon reprimanded by my aunt and was left with a thousand unanswered questions. I decided to conduct my own “research” in my elementary school’s library, and gained a simple understanding of the brain.
It wasn’t until middle school that I began my interest in consciousness. A book I had read referenced Descartes’ famous proposition, “I think, therefore I am”, and I looked up supplemental material for it, thus marking my venture into solipsism. Solipsism laid the groundwork for my interests in consciousness, as it created a shift in my conceptualization of incontrovertible certainty. At that point, absolute truth did not exist to me, only relative truth did. I became more and more interested in the idea of subjective experiences, which is how I stumbled upon the concept of qualia and the hard problem of consciousness. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to learn more about the subject. My favorite researcher/author is Christof Koch, whose research deals with neural correlates of consciousness.
Currently, I attend the University of California, Santa Barbara as a second year biopsychology student. In addition to the TANC lab, I am also working in the Simpson Lab, in which I’ve been learning a lot about unsupervised learning and digital signal processing. I’m also in the early stages of pursuing a side project, inspired by Helen Keller, that deals with coding a somatosensory based learning model. As to where I am in my exploration of consciousness and the like, I’m currently reading a lot of arguments for and against the existence of the “hard problem of consciousness”.
I’m thrilled to be a part of the TANC lab, and I hope to aid in their endeavor of making a huge contribution to precognition research!