The majority of research in the lab falls into six themes:
Consciousness & Perception
There are many different ways to study consciousness. Much of the work in the lab uses ambiguous perceptual stimuli and a range of neuroimaging technologies to better understand the biological processes and stimulus factors that determine an individual's conscious experience.
To investigate the role that neurotransmitter systems play in cognitive and sensory processing we have explored the effect of different psychoactive drugs on perception and cognition in healthy people.
We use pupil dilation to investigate the role of noradrenaline and arousal in decision making. We are also exploring ways to use this signal to communicate with people suffering from severe motor paralysis.
Sensory Processing & Psychosis
A number of psychiatric conditions are associated with altered sensory experiences e.g., psychotic disorders. Using carefully controlled psychophysical methods we investigate the association between specific symptom profiles and changes in sensory and cognitive processing.
Current technologies claim to alter neural activity with the use of magnetic or electrical stimulation externally applied to the head. We are interested in understanding the impact of these low levels of electrical stimulation (e.g. tCDS) in terms of the nature and reliability of the effects induced.
Neuroscience & Society
In parallel to the lab's scientific investigation in understanding individual's conscious experience or cognitive function, there is an interest in considering the neuroethical and societal impacts of neuroscientific advances in understanding and manipulating brain function.