Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Neural basis of consciousness (psychological, neuroscientific and mathematical projects)

a. psychophysical experiments to characterize the structure of consciousness and mathematical analyses (e.g., category theory) to extract its essential characteristics

b. neuroimaging experiments (e.g., EEG, MEG, fMRI) that can support project a.

Physical basis of consciousness (computational, engineering, mathematical, neuroscientific projects)

c. analysis and simulation of neural data that ties with experiments described in a, from several candidate quantitative theories of consciousness (e.g., integrated information theory)


Research activity per year

Personal profile


What is consciousness? Can we tell if other animals experience subjectivity, or whether there will be conscious machines or robots? These fundamental philosophical questions are now being explored by neuroscientist Associate Professor Nao Tsuchiya and his team.

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Research interests

Why and how does our subjective conscious experience emerge from physical electrochemical activity in the brain? Why is neuronal activity in the cortex, but not in the cerebellum, responsible for consiousness? Do any other animals experience subjectivity? If so, how can we know? Will there be conscious machines or robots? How can we test it? These are fascinating fundamental questions, which used to be questions for philosophers, but now they are for neuroscientists. In particular, our current projects focus on:

1. Behavioural effects and neuronal correlates of conscious and non-conscious processing.

2. Clarifying the differences and relationship of the neuronal mechanisms of consciousness and attention.

3. Analysis of multi-channel neurophysiological data to understand the neuronal mechanisms of consciousness.

4. Testing and developing quantitative theories of consciousness using empircal neuronal data.

Monash teaching commitment

PSY3280 Neural basis of consciousness

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Computation and Neural Systems, PhD, Attention and Awareness: Visual Psychophysics and Aversive Conditioning in Humans, California Institute of Technology

1 Sept 20001 Jul 2005

Award Date: 1 Jul 2006

Science, Bachelor, Synaptogenesis in cultured cerebellum from rat brain, Kyoto University

1 Apr 199631 Mar 2000

Award Date: 31 Mar 2000

External positions

Visiting Researcher, Osaka University

1 Dec 2015 → …

Visiting Researcher, Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR)

1 Nov 2010 → …

Research area keywords

  • Consciousness
  • Neuroscience
  • Attention
  • Decoding
  • Electrophysiological recordings
  • Information

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or