• 26 Innovation Walk, Department of Physiology, Room 123

    3800 Monash University


Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile


I completed my PhD in 2007, investigating how cells in the brain allow us to perceive visual motion. Upon completing my PhD, I undertook a post-doctoral appointment at the University of Rochester (NY, USA) to study vision, perception and memory; the latter part of this appointment was funded by an NHMRC overseas-based early career (CJ Martin) fellowship. I returned to Australia to complete this Fellowship where I joined the Monash Vision Group in 2010, to develop and build a visual prosthesis for the blind. I was awarded a Discovery Early Career Research Award from the ARC in 2013, therefore beginning my independent research program within the Sensory and Cognitive Neuroscience Group.

Research interests

My laboratory is interested in how activity of neurons lead to sensory perception, more complex behaviour and sensory recovery after brain injury. We take advantage sensory system to achieve this aim, as sensory systems have historically given the most robust insights into brain function.

One of our research streams studies the neural mechanisms that allow us to combine visual and auditory information effectively. This is particular important in situations where there are uncertainties in the sensory information, often such uncertainties are experienced by people with sensory impairments. For example, recipients of Cochlear implants often use lip reading in a noisy room. Our work not only has the potential to facilitate sensory integration, but it will also provide further insights into how information from two sources is combined by the brain.

The Primary Visual Cortex (V1) is the largest part of the human brain, more than 95% of visual information is processed by this area, leading to normal visual perception. Patients who suffer damage to V1 do not have conscious visual experience in the associated regions of visual space, however, they experience sub-conscious visual sensations and are even able to reflexively reach for objects in the blind field. Furthermore, upon training on simple tasks, patients' visual abilities within the blind field for these tasks can return to near-normal levels.  Our work aims to identify the neural mechanisms that firstly allow for residual vision to occur, and neural pathways that enable functional recovery after brain damage.    

Supervision interests

We are always interested in having enthusiastic students to join our laboratory. While a strong background in neuroscience is ideal, this does not have to be the case. We are also looking for students with backgrounds in computer science, math and engineering. We have the capabilities to supervise students at all levels, including PhD, Honours and Undergraduate (PHY3990) students. Projects offered include visual processing, audio-visual integration and neural plasticity underlying functional recovery. Do not hesitate to send me an email if you are interested in research on these topics!   

Clinical activities

I’ve been a member of the Monash Vision Group since its inception in 2010. We are working to develop and build a visual prosthesis for the blind.

Monash teaching commitment

I am the chief-examiner of a third year Neuroscience Unit at the Department of Physiology, PHY3111: Sensory and Cognitive Neuroscience. I give a number of lectures, coordinate group projects and laboratory classes. I also coordinate PHY3990: Reserach in Action, where studetns have an opportunity to spend a semester in a reserach laboratory.  

I also lecture in a number of other units including Radiology: RAD2090.


  • Monash University
  • Sensory Integration
  • Perception
  • Cognitive Function

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Projects 2008 2019

Research Output 2004 2019

Sensitivity to vocalization pitch in the caudal auditory cortex of the marmoset: Comparison of core and belt areas

Zhu, S., Allitt, B., Samuel, A., Lui, L., Rosa, M. G. P. & Rajan, R., 1 Feb 2019, In : Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience. 13, 21 p., 5.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Auditory and Visual Motion Processing and Integration in the Primate Cerebral Cortex

Chaplin, T. A., Rosa, M. G. P. & Lui, L. L., 26 Oct 2018, In : Frontiers in Neural Circuits. 12, 9 p., 93.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Distributed representation of vocalization pitch in marmoset primary auditory cortex

Zhu, S., Allitt, B., Samuel, A., Lui, L., Rosa, M. G. P. & Rajan, R., 11 Oct 2018, (Accepted/In press) In : European Journal of Neuroscience. 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Neuronal Correlations in MT and MST Impair Population Decoding of Opposite Directions of Random Dot Motion

Chaplin, T. A., Hagan, M. A., Allitt, B. J. & Lui, L. L., 1 Nov 2018, In : eNeuro. 5, 6, 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access