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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 theories of consciousness, in particular the integrated information theory of consciousness by Guilio Tononi, using empircal neuronal data.

Monash teaching commitment

PSY3280 Neural basis of consciousness


  • Consciousness
  • Neuroscience
  • Attention
  • Decoding
  • Electrophysiological recordings

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2012 2021

Neural origins of conscious perception in no-report paradigms

Tsuchiya, N., Oizumi, M., Kawasaki, H. & Tononi, G.

Australian Research Council (ARC)


Project: Research

Multimodal testing for a fast subcortical route for salient visual stimuli

Garrido, M., Tsuchiya, N., Rustishauser, U. & Adolphs, R.


Project: Research

Testing theories of consciousness with no-report paradigms in human intracranial recording

Tsuchiya, N., Haun, A., Kawasaki, H. & Tononi, G.


Project: Research

Intelligence and consciousness in flies

Tsuchiya, N.


Project: Research

Research Output 2001 2018

Attention periodically samples competing stimuli during binocular rivalry

Davidson, M. J., Alais, D., van Boxtel, J. JA. & Tsuchiya, N., 3 Dec 2018, In : eLife. 7, 25 p., e40868.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Conscious access in the near absence of attention: Critical extensions on the dual-task paradigm

Matthews, J., Schröder, P., Kaunitz, L., Van Boxtel, J. J. A. & Tsuchiya, N., 19 Sep 2018, In : Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 373, 1755, 12 p., 20170352.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Conscious machines: Defining questions

Carter, O., Hohwy, J., Van Boxtel, J., Lamme, V., Block, N., Koch, C. & Tsuchiya, N., 26 Jan 2018, In : Science. 359, 6374, 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterOtherpeer-review

Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s disease changes perception in the Rubber Hand Illusion

Ding, C. T-W., Palmer, C., Hohwy, J., Youssef, G., Paton, B., Tsuchiya, N., Stout, J. C. & Thyagarajan, D., 1 Dec 2018, In : Scientific Reports. 8, 1, 10 p., 13842.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Geometry of information integration

Amari, S., Tsuchiya, N. & Oizumi, M., 1 Jan 2018, Information Geometry and Its Applications: On the Occasion of Shun-ichi Amari's 80th Birthday. Ay, N., Gibilisco, P. & Matus, F. (eds.). Switzerland: Springer, Vol. 252. p. 3-17 15 p. (Springer Proceedings in Mathematics & Statistics; vol. 252).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

Activities 2015 2017

  • 2 Editorial responsibility

Consciousness and Cognition (Journal)

Nao Tsuchiya (Editorial board member)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial responsibility

Neuroscience of Consciousness (Journal)

Nao Tsuchiya (Associate editor)
2015 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial responsibility