Hyungrae Noh

Hyungrae Noh, Ph.D. student, Philosophy

Detects consciousness

What is your degree program and expected graduation date? Ph.D. Program in Philosophy, May 2019

Please describe your research: My research consists of two parts. First, my dissertation, Biocommunication, contributes to biological accounts of information processing. Second, I attempt to make a theoretical basis of detecting residual consciousness of comatose patients by neural signals.

In simple terms, why does this research matter? I try to answer the philosophical question ‘what distinguishes mental beings from mere physical beings?’ by the notion of information processing derived from the literature in biology and cognitive science. In turn, my research will make a genuine contribution to the relevant debates not only in philosophy but also in science.

How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I have been working on the topic of my dissertation since the second year at the University of Iowa.

How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? I have benefited from the university’s efforts to offer dynamic and diverse graduate-level courses. By taking not only philosophy seminars but also neuroscience seminars and statistics courses, I developed my dissertation topic from the interdisciplinary standpoint.

What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? I hope that I am actively engaged in my research for a long time and make contributions not only to the philosophical community but also to the scientific community.

Faculty mentor/advisor: Professor Carrie Figdor

Hometown: Dongducheon, South Korea

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