Welcome to Tom Ray's home page





  • Curriculum Vitae.

  • Brief biography.

  • Some photos of Tom Ray.

    Research

  • Have a look at some of my Publications.

  • My current research: The diverse set of psychoactive drugs collectively represents a rich set of tools for probing the chemical architecture of the human mind. These tools can be used to explore components of the psyche whose discreteness is normally obscured by their being embedded in the complete tapestry of the mind. By activating specific components of the mind, they are made to stand out against the background of the remainder of the psyche. Thus both their discreteness and their specific contribution to the psychic whole can be better appreciated. This work suggests that the human mind is populated by mental organs, which play diverse roles within the mind. Some mental organs provide consciousness (in separate adult and childhood forms); others function as gatekeepers to consciousness (in long and short time scales); others give salience, meaning or significance to the contents of consciousness, while others provide content to consciousness. Some mental organs support the facilities of language, logic and reason, which appear to be fully developed only in adult humans. Other mental organs provide affective ways of knowing the world, through feeling alone, which provide the complete archaic mind in our developmental and evolutionary antecedents. I am in the process of understanding how variation in the proportioning of these various elements in individual minds, contributes to the peculiarities of the personality, and in extreme variations or interactions, to a variety of mental disorders: schizophrenia, autism, depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, mental retardation, learning disorders, bipolar disorder, addiction, disorders of rage, and post-traumatic stress disorder. By learning the hypothesis of mental organs we come to understand the structure, process, and evolution of the mind, come to understand mental disorders and psychoactive drugs, and come to understand ourselves and others. Have a look at some of my publications on the human mind.

  • In the summer of 2001, I began an exploration of the newly created genome databases, with a broad interest in whatever interesting discoveries might be made there. I am using the genome databases to study the origin and evolution of gene families. I am also exploring the possiblity that the genomic data may provide new approaches for understanding the human mind. The new genome databases can provide a complete catalog of chemical communication systems in the brain. They have the potential of providing a comprehensive understanding of the processes of development and differentiation that generate the architecture of the brain. And by comparing human and ape genomes, they can point to the genetic and neural structures that make us uniquely human.

  • From 1990 to 2001, I conducted research on digital evolution, which means exploring what happens when evolution by natural selection is embedded in the medium of digital computation. This work began with the creation of Tierra, a system in which self-replicating machine code programs evolved by natural selection. This work received considerable media attention. In 2000, I implemented a new system called Virtual Life, which is a derivative of Evolved Virtual Creatures originally created by Karl Sims. In June of 2003 I began a collaboration with Ivan Tanev to develop the VirtualLife project in new directions. This kind of work is known to many people as Artificial Life. I have some thoughts on evolvability. Have a look at some of my publications on artificial life.

  • From 1974 to 1989, I was a tropical biologist who studied the evolution and ecology of a variety of organisms inhabiting rain forests. My work focused primarily on the foraging behavior of vines in the family Araceae, however, I also studied ants, butterflies, and beetles. Most of my field work was conducted in Costa Rica. After 1982, I worked principally at Finca El Bejuco biological station located in the lowland rain forests of northern Costa Rica, which I built, and own and operate. I was deeply involved in rain forest conservation in Costa Rica. Have a look at some of my publications on tropical biology.

    Various

  • Want to travel to Costa Rica (photos and links)? My daughter is Costa Rican, and this is where I do my Rain Forest Conservation work, research in Tropical Biology, and hang out at Finca El Bejuco, my home, ecolodge, and laboratory in the rain forest.

  • In August 1998, I joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma, as a Professor of Biology and Computer Science. I am originally from Norman Oklahoma, a wonderful place to live.

  • I am teaching Evolution

  • I have a daughter, Ariel Ivy Ray, born in 1993.

  • I studied Japanese by translating Traditional Japanese Children's Stories into English. Here are some Japanese Smiley Faces.