Random Sample

  • Hometown: San Antonio.

  • APA member since: 1985.

  • Occupation: Clinical professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and staff psychologist at the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital. Ingmundson is also the clinical director of the Alamo Sleep Disorders Center.

  • Why his work suits him: A night owl since his teens and never a good sleeper, Ingmundson discovered early on that he was well adapted for evening work. "I'm more suited to watching other people sleep at night, rather than sleeping at night myself."

  • Favorite nonprofit: The Mind Science Foundation, where Ingmundson serves as vice chair. The group supports research and scientific conferences focused on human consciousness. Founded in 1958, the foundation provides more than $100,000 a year to scientists to study how consciousness arises in human beings.

  • Research he admires most: The Mind Science Foundation funded a widely publicized 2006 paper in Science (Vol. 313, No. 5,792) that demonstrated conscious awareness in a brain-injured woman previously thought to be in a permanent vegetative state. When she was asked to imagine playing tennis or moving around her home, fMRI scans showed activated cortical areas in a manner indistinguishable from that of healthy volunteers. Such projects "really change the way people approach coma and vegetative states," Ingmundson says.

  • Passion: Running. "I was a couch potato in my earlier life, but I'm now running five-kilometer races to stay healthy."

  • What got him off the couch: Ingmundson developed hypertension and Type-2 diabetes--problems he sees all the time in his sleep disorder patients. Five years ago he finally took his own advice and got active.

  • Favorite things to listen to: The weekly public radio programs "A Prairie Home Companion" and "Car Talk." "Even if you have a PhD and you're studying really scientific questions about human consciousness, understanding how a carburetor works is still a great mystery to me."

--A. Novotney


Each month, "Random Sample" profiles a randomly selected APA member. You might be next.