I became interested in the mind at the age of two when I discovered I had one. In pursuing this interest in high school I was taught that the mind is illusory and that speech perception is a more tractable thing to study experimentally. Because of this early influence, I developed a strong interest in "coarticulation" during college where I experimentally studied this speech phenomenon in chinchillas. In graduate school I pursued the study of individual speech sounds like "ba" and "pa" using a two-alternative-forced choice paradigm and the naked mole rat as a model system. I hope to write a book on consciousness when I retire.