The Career Story of David Eagleman


David Eagleman, born in 1971, is an American neuroscientist, author, and science communicator renowned for his groundbreaking research on brain plasticity, time perception, and synesthesia. His work has not only expanded our understanding of the human brain but also inspired innovative technologies and legal reforms.

Early Life and Education

Eagleman was raised in New Mexico, where his father was a psychiatrist and his mother was a biology teacher. This early exposure to science and the human mind fueled his curiosity and laid the foundation for his future career. He pursued his undergraduate studies at Rice University, earning a BA in British and American Literature in 1993. Following his passion for the brain, he completed his PhD in Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine in 1998.

Rise to Prominence

Eagleman’s research career gained momentum during his postdoctoral fellowship at The Salk Institute, where he investigated the neural mechanisms underlying time perception. His findings challenged conventional notions and garnered attention within the scientific community. In 2007, he joined the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine as an assistant professor, further solidifying his position as a leading neuroscientist.

Scientific Contributions and Beyond

Eagleman’s research has yielded numerous significant contributions to the field of neuroscience. His work on brain plasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganize itself, has shed light on the potential for rehabilitation and recovery from neurological conditions. Additionally, his studies on time perception have deepened our understanding of how the brain processes temporal information. He is also known for his research on synesthesia, a neurological condition where stimulation of one sense triggers experiences in another sense.

Beyond his scientific pursuits, Eagleman is a gifted science communicator. He has authored several bestselling books, including “Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain” and “Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain,” which have captivated both scientific and general audiences alike. He has also hosted television series, such as “The Brain with David Eagleman,” and delivered numerous engaging public lectures, making complex neuroscientific concepts accessible to a wide range of people.

Career Timeline

1993BA in British and American Literature, Rice University
1998PhD in Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine
2001Postdoctoral Fellowship at The Salk Institute
2007Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine
2009Published “Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives”
2011Published “Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain”
2015Founded the Center for Science and Law
2015Published “The Brain: The Story of You”
2016Co-founded NeoSensory
2018Published “Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain”
2020Launched “The Brain with David Eagleman” on PBS

Continuing Impact

David Eagleman’s career is a testament to his passion for unraveling the mysteries of the brain and sharing his discoveries with the world. His work continues to inspire further research, technological innovation, and legal reforms. As a neuroscientist and science communicator, he has not only advanced our understanding of the human brain but also sparked a broader public interest in neuroscience and its implications for society.