Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science

Research staff

Dr Lionel Barnett (post-doc)

Dr Lionel Barnett

With a background in applied mathematics, Lionel's chief research interests are in the analysis of (mostly biological) complex dynamical systems, using mathematical tools from network theory, information theory and stochastic processes.

Lionel gained his DPhil degree at Sussex in 2004 under the tutelage of Dr. Inman Harvey, during which time he developed new approaches in the evolutionary theory of neutral (not neural!) networks. He has since completed a successful post-doctoral project with Dr. Seth Bullock of Southampton University, analysing the influence of spatial embedding on the structure and dynamics of complex networks.

In 2010 he joined Dr. Anil Seth's Neurodynamics and Consciousness Lab as a post-doc, where he researches the causal dynamics of information flow in complex neural systems, particularly as they relate to phenomena of consciousness. Using techniques from information theory and time series analysis, the chief aims of his research are (i) to elucidate the relationship between network structure and functional behaviour, (ii) derive useful macroscopic descriptions for large-scale neural systems, and (iii) investigate how the previous aims can be actualised from empirical neural data, such as EEG/MEG, fMRI, etc.

Click here for more information about Dr. Lionel Barnett.

Dr Adam Barrett (EPSRC Research Fellow)

adamAdam's research makes use of mathematical methods to attempt to understand what is distinct about the particular neural structures, dynamics and functions that give rise to conscious experience.

More specifically, inspired by Integrated Information Theory, a major focus of his work is on the development of potential measures of conscious level that quantify the extent to which neural dynamics simultaneously generate and integrate information. In other words, Adam works on modelling and developing our mathematical understanding of neural complexity, as well as deriving statistical techniques for applying abstract measures based on this concept to neuroimaging data. A key component of this involves developing methodology for quantifying the strength of directed interactions (functional connectivity) between neural dynamical variables, and this leads to applications broadly across neuroscience. Datasets Adam has analysed include EEG recordings from subjects undergoing general anaesthesia, and intracranial depth electrode recordings from awake and asleep epileptic patients.

Adam is also interested in the role of metacognition (knowledge of knowing) in conscious awareness, and researches ways of modelling and measuring metacognition at both the behavioural and neural level.

Prior to joining the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science in 2009, he was a postdoc in Mark van Rossum's group at the University of Edinburgh, working mainly on synaptic plasticity and the neural basis of learning and memory.

In 2006 Adam completed his PhD in theoretical physics at the University of Oxford, and the topic of his thesis was string/M-theory. Before this he studied mathematics undergraduate and Masters (Parts I, II and III of the Tripos) at St John's College, Cambridge.

Dr Daniel Bor (Visiting Research Fellow)

DanDaniel completed his first degree in psychology and philosophy at the University of Oxford in 1997. He then moved to the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (CBU) at Cambridge University for his PhD (completed 2002), where he carried out research into the prefrontal cortex and strategic processing.  He was then a research fellow, partly at Cambridge University, and partly at the MRC CBU for a number of years before taking two years out in 2008 to write a popular science book on the science of consciousness (published by Basic Books, due out spring 2011), before returning to research as a research fellow at the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science. My research focus in SCCS: My research centres on using brain-imaging and behavioural techniques involving structured strimuli in normal participants and various clinical populations to help elucidate the purpose and nature of consciousness, and by so doing potentially elucidate the precise nature and cause of various clinical conditions, potentially leading to more effective future treatments.

Click here for more information about Dr Daniel Bor.

Dr Sarah Garfinkel (post-doc)

SarahDr Garfinkel’s research uses fMRI, pharmacological manipulation and autonomic indices to investigate the mechanisms underlying altered memory processes – focusing on memory distortion, memory facilitation and selective memory impairments.

During her PhD at Sussex University, under the supervision of Prof. Dora Duka and Prof. Zoltan Dienes, she investigated the effect of alcohol on false and veridical memories, as well as the propensity for alcohol to differentially impact implicit and explicit memory processes. During her Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Michigan, Dr. Garfinkel investigated how stress impacts memory. Under the mentorship of Prof. Israel Liberzon, she investigated the neurocircuitry underlying the maintenance of fear memories in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In collaboration with Professors Liberzon and Abelson, and in collaboration with Columbia University, she investigated how the stress hormone cortisol can facilitate memory encoding. In collaboration with Cornell University, she is currently involved in projects assessing the deleterious effect of chronic poverty on hippocampal dependent memory.

Returning to Brighton as a Fellow in Clinical Medicine at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Dr. Garfinkel now works with Prof. Hugo Critchley to investigate how the autonomic nervous system affects implicit and explicit attention and memory processes.

Dr Marte Otten (post-doc)

MarteMarte received her BA & MA in Cognitive and Biological Psychology from the Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and received my PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Amsterdam.

Following her PhD, she was awarded a NWO Rubicon Scholarship to complete a 2 year post-doc at Harvard Univerity, in Mahzarin Banaji’s Social Cognition Laboratory. Here her research focused on the influence that (unconscious) stereotypical knowledge has on low-level attentional processes, memory & language perception.

Following this she worked at the University of Amsterdam, this time at the Department of Social Psychology, with Kai Jonas.

Dr Jim Parkinson (post-doc)

Jim ParkinsonJim gained his PhD in Experimental Psychology in 2007 at the University of Sussex, investigating links between action and perception: Does how you perform an action affect how you perceive the action? He then went on to work with Dr Anne Sprtinger and professor Wolfgang Prinz at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany. Whilst there he investigated how individuals can predict and internally simulate the visual perception of human motion.

Following this, he worked with Professor Patrick Haggard at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL, where he conducted research into the volitional self-control of actions. In 2013 he returned to the University of Sussex, joining the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science as a postdoctoral research fellow.

One of Jim’s main research interests is Free Will: What is it? Does it truly exist? Why do we at least have the feeling we are “free”? This also encompasses self-control and motor inhibition, the sense of agency and intention, and subliminal priming of volitional behaviour. This research utilises the state-of-the-art neuroscientific equipment that the Sackler Centre offers, such as electroencephalogram (EEG) recording and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) techniques.

Dr Charlotte Rae (post-doc)

Dr Charlotte RaeCharlotte gained her PhD in cognitive neuroscience at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, in 2013. Her PhD investigated the structural and functional brain networks that support control of voluntary action, supervised by James Rowe. She continued in James Rowe’s lab for a few months as a post-doctoral Research Associate, before joining the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science in 2014, as a Sackler Clinical Research Fellow.

Charlotte’s research at Sussex investigates the changes in brain interactions that occur in disorders of consciousness, and how these changes may underpin symptoms. This includes neuroimaging studies of depersonalisation in psychosis, altered motor control in Tourette Syndrome, and attentional processes in anxiety. She uses neuroimaging methods including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), together with brain network analysis techniques, to find out how brain connectivity influences behaviour. 

Charlotte is also affiliated with the Clinical Imaging Sciences Centre at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Her BSMS webpage is:

Dr Darren Rhodes (post-doc)

Darren RhodesDarren completed his PhD in Computational Neuroscience at the University of Birmingham in 2015 under the guidance of Dr. Max Di Luca. In his PhD, he developed Bayesian models of time perception. He spent some time at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology during his PhD, where he worked with Prof. Dawn Behne developing his models into the speech domain.  

Darren joined the SCCS in 2015 in a post-doctoral position as part of the TIMESTORM project ( with Prof. Anil Seth. Here, Darren is trying to find out how we can make robots predict the future - by learning how the human brain can perceive time. As such, Darren’s research at Sussex is aimed at developing predictive coding models of time perception and interoception through the use of psychophysical behavioural methods. He is interested in understanding how the brain estimates event-timing, as a step towards a unified-general theory of time perception. Darren is also interested in how temporal contingencies are formed and how they influence behaviour. Darren uses a variety of techniques to address these aims including EEG, TMS, Computational Modelling and Psychophysics. 


Dr Warrick Roseboom (post-doc)

Warrick Roseboom

Warrick completed a PhD in Experimental Psychology at the University of Queensland, Australia in 2012 under the supervision of Dr Derek Arnold, subsequently taking up a post-doctoral position at NTT Communication Science Laboratories in Japan with Dr Shin’ya Nishida. The primary focus of the work completed during this time was investigating multisensory and temporal perception in humans using behavioural methods.

Joining the SCCS in 2015 as part of the TIMESTORM project (, Warrick’s primary role is the development of models of human time perception for application in artificial systems. Beyond TIMESTORM, he is generally interested in how the brain produces estimates of temporal relationships and, moreover, in the interaction of temporal perception and conscious experience through phenomenal causality and the sense of agency. To address these topics he uses an array of approaches including psychophysics, modelling, fMRI, EEG, and TMS.

Dr David Schwartzman (post-doc/Lab Manager)

David Schwartzman

David is a Cognitive Neuropsychologist who completed his MSc and PhD at Oxford Brookes University. His PhD investigated the functional role of gamma oscillations in visual perception using EEG. Previously David worked at the Experimental Psychology department at Oxford University with Dr Nick Yeung within the ACC lab investigating how we use external signals of success or failure to help us perform more accurately. Prior to coming to the Sackler centre David was a scientific advisor to the Beckley Foundation.

David's research interests include understanding the neural substrates of face perception, repetition priming and visual hallucinations in age related macular degeneration patients. He has also investigated how minute movements of the eyes, called Micro Saccades can affect the brain’s electrical responses and the changes in fluid dynamics of the brain that occur with age.

Some of the research projects David is involved with at the Sackler Centre include: investigating the origins of grapheme-colour synaesthesia. This work aims to train normal participants to display many of the defining characteristics of grapheme-colour synaesthesia, including phenomenological experiences.

David has also worked on comparing the Sussex developed Electrical Potential Sensors (EPS) with standard EEG systems. This research investigated if the EPS sensors can measure similar, cognition-relevant brain activity as a standard EEG system. 

He is also a member of a project investigating "Neurite Orientation Dispersion and Density Imaging ('NODDI'): A new approach to understanding cellular pathology in MND." In this project he is applying multiple TMS techniques to assess facilitatory and inhibitory processes in MND patients

David also directs Oxford Faraday Cages a company that specializes in designing and building cost effective electrical shielding solutions, laboratory spaces, and sound insulation for electronic, medical, and research applications.

Dr Keisuke Suzuki (post-doc)


Keisuke Suzuki obtained his Ph.D degree on subject of artificial life from the University of Tokyo in 2007. He stayed as a research fellow in RIKEN Brain Science Institute, where he carried out research into human cognitive functions in virtual reality environments (2008-2011). He developed a novel virtual reality system called SR (Substitutional Reality) system with his colleagues. In this system, people believe that they experiencing real-world scenes even though they are actually experiencing pre-recorded scenes. He joined the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science in 2011 as part of CEEDS project.

Keisuke's research focus at the SCCS is about conscious presence, i.e. subjective feeling of being "here and now". The sense of presence is one of important aspects of our subjective conscious experience, but its underlying neural mechanisms remain poorly understood. The research will involve constructing a theoretical model to explain conscious presence, integrating neurological and psychiatric evidence with a focus on depersonalization disorder (DPD). Theoretical work will be complemented experimentally using state-of-the-art virtual reality techniques. Keisuke is also interested in relationship between hallucination and delusion, informing an integrated theory of perception and belief