We are honored to present CYPSY27 Keynote Speakers!

J. Galen Buckwalter

J. Galen Buckwalter, PhD, started his career in academia working primarily on the effects of steroidal hormones on cognition during pregnancy and aging at the University  of Southern California (USC). Subsequently, he initiated a behavioral outcomes research program at Kaiser Permanente, Southern California. Through several serendipitous events, Galen created the assessment and matching system for, one of the United States' leading dating services. 
He built a data science team and a research laboratory as Founding Chief Science Officer. Since then, Galen has worked in academia and industry, including research at the Institute for Creative Sciences at USC, using VR to develop a resilience training program. He also was Chief Science Officer at Payoff, aka Happy Money, a financial technology services company, and developed a program to help customers with extreme financial stress. He is currently CEO of psyML, working to understand the psychology of humans at scale by using both standardized, engaging psychometric assessments and algorithmically-based natural language processing models. He has worked with such storied companies as Red Bull, Nike, and Logitech.
In 2024, Galen enrolled as one of the first 25 participants worldwide to receive neural implants to research the treatment of spinal cord injury, having incurred such an injury as an adolescent. This Caltech/USC project hopes to develop neural prostheses for the future. Also, it provides Galen an opportunity to personally experience and research one of the most sophisticated brain-computer interfaces currently available.

Check out his videos on TikTok!

Living the Future Cause My Brain's in the Cloud

The use of non-invasive brain-computer interfaces (BCl) has increased exponentially in recent years. Techniques such as wearable EEG and pulsed electromagnetic fields are being combined with motion capture and other digital  technologies to provide clinical treatment and personal enhancement. The use of implanted devices capable of directly recording and activating neurons has been limited largely due to ethical concerns with implantation. Currently, neural implants are only approved for research purposes with limited patient populations, primarily persons with high spinal cord injuries (SCI). This presentation will be given by a tetraplegic research psychologist implanted with six Utah arrays, small devices each with up to 80 microelectrodes, in a range of brain regions. This research is being done as part of an NIH-funded study conducted by Caltech and the University of Southern California. The current state of research into neural prostheses as a treatment for SCl will be empirically and subjectively described. The future of BCI will also be discussed including topics such as internal speech recognition, wellness, and the extended mind. A collaborative project with Dr. Thomas Parsons at ASU to utilize this BCI in the development of a digital clone will be discussed..