David Plans initially studied artificial intelligence and media, using evolutionary algorithms to investigate the nature of human improvisation. He helped build the first European merger for Open Source startups and worked within the UK’s National Health Service to deploy the first mobile application to let users self-report in chronic illness. He has given papers and talks at the European Conference on Artificial Life, IRCAM, the Darwin Symposium, and the Computer Arts Society in London.
His first PhD focused on genetic algorithms for classification of human musical behaviour in MPEG7 time series. He then led BioBeats as CEO, a startup that focuses on machine learning models of mental health and disorder. Through his work at BioBeats, he has retrained as a neuroscientist and experimental psychologist, and is now pursuing DPhil work at the University of Oxford's Social Cognition Lab. He is a member of the INDEX group and a Senior Lecturer in Organisational Neuroscience.
David's research interests include computational psychiatry models of stress and emotional resilience, and telemetric approaches to digital therapeutics for mental health. His work involves models through which we might understand the human body's response to stress from a psychobiology perspective, using data from body sensors and smartphone applications to build models that can predict mental disorder. He is particularly interested in models that involve interactions between one's sense of body signals (interoceptive awareness), capacity for empathy, cognitive vulnerabilities such as rumination, and how these interactions play out in individual and social frameworks such as workplaces.