Nick Merrill

What can machines know about the inner workings of a person's mind, even theoretically? I study how engineers use sensors and machine learning to build models of minds. I use design methods to surface how their beliefs and practices inform the models they construct, with an eye toward how their accounts of embodied, distributed and extended cognition construct a mind that is amenable to sensing. My current work uses brain-based authentication (in which neural signals are used to log users into devices & services) as a site for understanding and how engineers make sense of the mind and persons through the lens of particular technologies. (cv)

biosense lab (2013-)

BCI review (2017-)


fall 17 - I am teaching I290T: Mind Reading & Telepathy for Beginners & Intermediates

recent publications

Max T Curran, Nick Merrill, John Chuang, Swapan Gandhi. One-step, three-factor authentication in a single earpiece. ubicomp '17

Nick Merrill, Max T Curran, John Chuang. Is the Future of Authenticity All In Our Heads? Moving passthoughts from the lab to the world. nspw '17

Nick Merrill, Coye Cheshire. Trust Your Heart: Assessing cooperation and trust with biosignals in computer-mediated interactions. cscw '17 Honorable mention

Nick Merrill, Coye Cheshire. Habits of the Heart(rate): Interpreting and acting on biosignals in risky social situations. acm group '16


aaronson oracle (2016) press the 'f' and 'd' keys randomly. it's easy. just use your "free will" (offline for now) (2015) encrypted, pseudonymous chat in the web browser

comp-generated gradient gifs


ffff at berkeley edu
(my public key)