Mind at Large




Paul Seli, PhD

Principal Investigator

Paul is an Assistant Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University. Beginning in 2010, he worked at the University of Waterloo (Canada) under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Smilek, earning his Master’s degree in 2012 and his PhD in 2015. For his outstanding dissertation and graduate career, Paul received the coveted Governor General's Gold Medal. Paul then moved on to complete a two-year Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard University (Department of Psychology) with Dr. Daniel L. Schacter.

Contact: paul.seli@duke.edu

Anna Smith

Doctoral Student

Anna is a third-year Psychology & Neuroscience Ph.D. student at Duke University. After receiving her B.A. in Cognitive Science from Carleton College, Anna moved to Southern California, where she spent two years working with Dr. Michael Yassa in UC Irvine's Department of Neurobiology & Behavior on studies of episodic memory mechanisms and performance trajectories associated with healthy and disordered aging. She hopes to tie in her previous work on the nature of episodic and semantic representations, her love for interdisciplinary science, and a personal drive to create and consume art, to pursue a body of research that illuminates stages and conditions of the creative process. Anna also serves as Co-director and Instructor for Duke Neurosciences Camp, a residential summer camp for high schoolers.

Contact: anna.p.smith@duke.edu

Lucas Bellaiche

Rotating PhD Student

Lucas Bellaiche is a first-year PhD student from Fayetteville, Arkansas. He obtained his undergrad degrees in psychology and statistics from the University of Arkansas, and is currently enrolled in Duke’s Cognitive Neuroscience Admitting Program (CNAP). He is rotating in the labs of Dr. Seli and Dr. Kevin Labar to inform his main research interest: creativity. He is particularly interested in three main questions: (1) Where do creative thoughts come from (e.g., dreams), (2) How do people engage with products of creativity, like art (music, visual, etc.), and (3) what role does emotion play in creativity? In his free time, Lucas likes to play music, travel, and seek brave volunteers to try his culinary creations.

Contact: lucas.bellaiche@duke.edu

Anya Ragnhildstveit

Independet Researcher

Anya is an incoming PhD student in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge (England). Her research interests span neuropsychiatry and cognitive science fields, and broadly include neurosurgical oncology, integrative brain health, psychedelic medicine, and artificial intelligence. Anya recently completed her BS in Psychology from the University of Utah; and has conducted research at Harvard Medical School, Harvard Business School, Yale School of Medicine, and Stanford University School of Medicine, among other institutions; and is the Founding Executive Director of the Integrated Research Literacy Group a non-traditional research lab focused on scientific writing and communication

Juliana Ibarra

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Contact: juliana.ibarra@duke.edu

Claire Tan

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Contact: claire.tan@duke.edu

Alisa Adhikari

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Contact: alisa.adhikari@duke.edu

Alyssa Miranda

Visiting Researcher

Alyssa is a first-year Master's student in the Transformative and Consciousness Studies Program at National University. Her research interests span clinical psychology and neuroscience fields, and includes mindfulness and holistic healing as well as psychedelic medicine. Alyssa received a BS in Psychology and a BA in Childhood & Adolescent Development from California State University San Marcos; and aspires to obtain a PhD in clinical neuroscience. She is additionally a Graduate Research Assistant II in the Integrated Research Literacy Group.

Nasya Lucien

Intern, Spring 2022

Angela Addae

Intern, Spring 2022