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Kevin Schmidt

I am currently an applied neuroscience researcher for the Air Force Research Laboratory pursuing my PhD in cognitive neuroscience at Northwestern University through the Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation Scholarship.

I am an avid adventurer and have most recently been into high altitude mountaineering. Some friends and I piloted some cognitive tests on Aconcagua during our December 2017 (failed) summit attempt down in the Andes. We are working with the US Embassy in Santiago for follow-on work combining physiology, psychology, and summit success.

Find some nice media coverage of the work here:




I am driven by the attempt to explain aspects of psychology with biological processes of brain systems.

My technical approach to research is to emphasize the importance of examining physiological and cognitive mechanisms during complex tasks in dynamic environments to better transition discoveries to application.

I measure a number of behaviors in different species (e.g. rodents, dogs, humans); correlate biological/brain state (e.g. corticosterone levels, EEG bandwidth frequency) relative to performance of the organism with respect to a standard baseline or control; and augment performance to optimize task effectiveness (e.g. vitamin supplementation, brain stimulation).

I want to discover brain mechanisms underpinning cognitive performance during my studies and initiate the application of that development in the real world: incorporating physiology, psychology, performance, and technology together.


“Conformity is not necessarily a virtue. Hard work is almost never vice. Hopefulness is a moral imperative. And, a sense of humor helps.” Harold J. Morowitz