Research Projects

Do we always eventually become consciously aware of our reactions to external stimuli? In this study, we aim to determine the role of consciousness in stimulus-driven reactions experimentally, using a go/no-go task in conjunction with EEG, EMG, and high-speed camera recordings.

In this experiment, participants’ brain activity is monitored using EEG while they play a video game involving choices that may result in mild electric shocks to another participant. The neural data collected as participants play this game will be analyzed in an attempt to identify the neural correlates of intentions and action outcomes.

This project combines neural stimulation and physiological recordings in order to uncover the relationship between subcortical arousal mechanisms (indexed by pupillometry) and TMS-EEG signatures of awareness, such as complexity and stability.

The generation and execution of voluntary actions can be described as involving three components: 1) the conscious experience of choosing and carrying out the action, 2) the neural activity preceding and following the action, and 3) the timing and intensity of the movement.

This study examines the causal roles and relationships between different brain regions implicated in these components of voluntary action during deliberate and arbitrary decision-making.

We investigate the sense of agency – the sense of ownership or authorship of our actions. TMS is used to artificially activate cortical regions of the brain, and when it is applied to motor cortex participants will move their arms, legs, or other muscles involuntarily. Wittgenstein famously asked: “What is left over if I subtract the fact that my arm goes up from that fact that I raise my arm?” – We aim to answer this interesting question.

This project aims to uncover the similarities and differences in how the brain generates self-initiated actions and creative ideas, two examples of spontaneous behavior. We investigate similarities and differences in behavior as well as antecedent pupillary signals.


Is imagining one of the ways through which people become aware of intending to act? Do brain signals associated with a voluntary action partly reflect imagination related to that action? Does the experience of deciding feel active or passive? In this experiment, we investigate these questions surrounding the experience of volition using methods such as Libet-type tasks in which participants are asked to move or imagine moving.


The neural basis of intention is still largely unknown. In this study, we will aim to decode the process of decision-making and intention-formation from electroencephalography (EEG) brain signals. We intend to use these methods to answer questions such as how intentions are shaped either freely or from environmental cues.


This project aims to develop an novel method for studying intentionality and commitment to a plan of action by analyzing reaction time patterns when participants are forced to change their minds.

There are a multitude of perceptual details that people can attend to during social interactions. In order to interact effectively without being caught up in these low-level details, people form an abstract mental representation of the information surrounding the interaction. In this study, we examine how this ability to form simplified mental representations when perceiving images of faces relates to social cognitive ability.


This study examines several neural correlates of consciousness across three experimental paradigms commonly used in studies of visual perception. By doing so, we aim to test whether the neural correlates of interest are truly activated by consciousness of visual stimuli as opposed to resulting from differences across participants and experimental paradigms.


The Sound-Induced Flash Illusion has been documented in previous research on auditory-visual integration in the human brain. This illusion is induced during a perceptual task in which visual flashes are presented on a computer simultaneously with a disparate number of auditory beeps, leading the observer to misperceive the number of flashes that they have seen. In this project, we record EEG activity and eye movements in order to identify the neural correlates of this phenomenon.

There is mixed evidence for whether people are able to subconsciously detect and respond to questions on visual stimuli with accuracy. Some have argued that findings in support of a threshold for subconscious visual perception are only the result of conscious perception at a low level of confidence. In this study, we aim to determine whether there is in fact a threshold for subconscious visual perception in addition to the threshold for conscious awareness.

The readiness potential (RP) is a slow buildup of electrical potential recorded at the scalp preceding spontaneous muscle movement. When first discovered, the RP was interpreted as evidence that the decision to act is made far in advance of the movement, even before an individual’s conscious awareness of the decision. However, since then, this interpretation has been called into question, with one criticism being that the RP may precede but is not unique to spontaneous action. 

The purpose of this study is to add to this debate surrounding the readiness potential by testing the earliest time point at which the EEG data preceding spontaneous action can be differentiated from EEG activity that did not precede any action.



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