I’m an experimental psychologist and computational neuroscientist.

These essays are a way to share directly what I think is most important. It’s also a creative outlet that’s more free-flowing and authentic than what’s possible within the bounds of academia. Sometimes I share stories or experiences and other times I share specific insights from our research. But mostly it’s things that my gut obliges me to write.

If you’d like to know more about me personally, check out my website. You’ll see that I’ve published many papers in leading scientific journals (including the Nature Collection) on topics like meditation, insight, psychedelics, and artificial intelligence. My work has also been featured in TEDx, Vice, VOX, Aeon, New Scientist, and many other places.

My most well-known work is perhaps a unifying theory of meditation, a study revealing that meditators can turn off their consciousness, and a bunch of work on eliciting false insights.

I’m also an ex-professional Muay Thai Kickboxer, an average surfer, and I engage with the mystery through a bit of short poetry.

A quick note to new and potential paid subscribers: I’m really touched that you would want to encourage me to write here with your hard-earned cash. I had no such expectation when I started on Substack. So, as a small token of my gratitude, you’ll be the first to read my book when it’s ready. For free. It’s where I’ve poured my mind and soul. So if you’ve found value in my work, I can guarantee you will find more value there. For a little while, this offer is open to whoever wants to upgrade. Thank you again.

Much love,


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Where the empirical encounters the ineffable


Ruben Laukkonen

Extracting meaning from the muddy waters of science and subjectivity