Jason S. Tsukahara

Jason S. Tsukahara

Cognitive Psychologist, PhD

Georgia Institute of Technology

Hi there,

I am currently a post-doctoral researcher in the Attention & Working Memory Lab at Georgia Tech working with Randy Engle.

As a cognitive psychologist and practicing Buddhist contemplative, I am curious about the ways in which we use our attention, how well we are able to use it, and how it impacts our mind and life in meaningful ways.

Currently my research focuses on individual differences in the ability to control attention and how that relates to cognitive abilities, sustained attention, pupil size, and the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system.

  • Cognitive abilities
  • Sustained attention
  • The locus coeruleus
  • Mindfulness and Meditation
  • Contemplative science
  • PhD in Cognitive and Brain Sciences, 2022

    Georgia Institute of Technology

  • MA in Experimental Psychology, 2014

    California State University, San Bernardino

  • BA in Behavioral Neuroscience, 2011

    Western Washington University

A little more about me…

I am originally from Bothell, WA (~30 miles north of Seattle). I will always consider Washington State as my home. I earned my B.A. in Behavioral Neuroscience at Western Washington University. This is where I found my interest in cognitive psychology. I took a year off after college to participate in an 8-week silent meditation retreat on Shamatha and the Four Immeasurables in Phuket, Thailand with my teacher Alan Wallace.

From there I went on to do a 2 year M.A. program in General Experimental Psychology at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). At CSUSB I worked with Dr. Hideya Koshino doing research on selective attention and working memory.

I was, then, accepted into Randy Engle’s lab as a Ph.D. student at Georgia Tech. I graduated with my Ph.D. in December 2022. My research in the lab involves investigating the nature of attention control with the use of pupillometry. I make use of the R statistical programming language to analyze data in a way that is most consistent with open science and reproducibility practices. I have developed several R Packages relevant to the lab’s research.

Outside of psychology, my interests include Buddhist spiritual practice (mainly influenced by the Nyingma tradition from Tibetan Buddhism and Dzogchen teachings in particular), teaching meditation and mindfulness practices, hiking, camping, riding my bicycle around town, and photography.