Human Experience Laboratory

Research Overview

The research in the lab aims to better understand the factors that determine the contents and nature of an individual's conscious experience.

The research utilises cross-disciplinary approaches to explore the variety of subjective experiences supported by the human brain during both "typical" and "altered" states of consciousness (e.g. psychedelics, meditation and psychiatric/neurological conditions).  The objective is to better understand both the nature of human subjective experiences as well as the biological mechanisms underpinning them.

With continual advances in neuroscience and technology, the lab also works with industry partners and academic collaborators to better understand the impact of new drug/technology development within society.

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Lab Members

For a full list of research interests and contact details [click here]

  • Dr Jacob Paul, Post-doctoral research fellow
  • Jody Stanley, PhD Student
  • Toby Woods, PhD Student
  • Rebekah Street, PhD Student
  • Sally Meikle, PhD Student
  • Boki Milinkovic,  PhD Student
  • Gabriel Brandolini, PhD Student
  • Tim O'Hare, PhD Student

Research Publications

For a full list of publications and PDF's [click here]

Carter, O., Hohwy, J., van Boxtel, J., Lamme, V., Block, N., Koch, C. & Tsuchiya, N (2018) Conscious machines: Defining questions Science 359 (6374): 400

Carter. O., Bennett. D., Nash. T., Arnold. S., Brown. L., Cai. R. Y., Allan. Z., Dluzniak. A., McAnally. K., Burr. D. and Sundram. S. (2017) Sensory integration deficits support a dimensional view of psychosis and are not limited to schizophrenia. Translational Psychiatry 7(5)e1118

Carter, O. & Forte, J. (2016) Brain Stimulation Needs Regulation. Nature 533: 179

Horvath, J., Forte, J. & Carter, O. (2015) Quantitative Review Finds No Evidence of Cognitive Effects in Healthy Populations from Single-Session Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). Brain Stimulation. 8: 535-550

Stoll, J., Chatelle, C., Carter, O., Koch, C., Laureys, S. & Einhauser, W. (2013) Pupil responses allow communication in locked-in syndrome patients. Current Biology. 23(15) R647-8

Kometer, M., Cahn, B., Andel, D., Carter, O. & Vollenweider, F.  (2011) The 5-HT2A/1A agonist psilocybin disrupts modal object completion associated with visual hallucinations. Biological Psychiatry. 69(5): 399-406

Carter, O., Konkle, T., Wang, Q., Hayward, V. & Moore, C. (2008) Tactile apparent motion induces perceptual rivalry Current Biology 18(4):1050-54

Einhäuser, W., Stout, J., Koch, C. & Carter, O. (2008) Pupil dilation reflects perceptual selection and predicts subsequent stability in perceptual rivalry. Proc Natl Acad Sci 105(5): 1704-1709

Carter, O., Burr, D. C., Pettigrew, J. D., Wallis, G. M., Hasler, F. & Vollenweider, F. X. (2005) Using psilocybin to investigate the relationship between attention, working memory and the Serotonin1A/2A receptors. J Cog Neuroscience17(10): 1497-150.

Carter, O., Presti, D., Callistemon, C., Liu, G. B., Ungerer, Y. & Pettigrew, J. D. (2005) Meditation Alters Perceptual Rivalry in Tibetan Buddhist Monks. Current Biology15(11): R412-3.

Carter, O., Pettigrew, J. D., Hasler, F. & Wallis, G. M., Liu, G. B., Hell, D., & Vollenweider, F. X. (2005) Modulating the rate and rhythmicity of perceptual rivalry alternations with the mixed 5-HT2A and 5‑HT1A agonist psilocybin. Neuropsychopharmacology 30: 1154-62

Research Projects

For project inquiries, contact our research group head.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cognitive Psychology and Behavioural Neuroscience

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Head of Lab Prof Olivia Carter

Department / Centre

Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

Unit / Centre

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