To identify the neural mechanisms for consciousness, that is, the occurrence of subjective experiences, such as during visual perception.
Hakwan Lau, Ph.D.
Team Leader, Consciousness
hakwan.lau [at] riken.jp
We use a combination of brain stimulation and neuroimaging techniques to study how human subjects consciously see. One particular focus is mental imagery, in which a perception-like experience occurs in the absence of external stimulation. Interestingly, some human subjects do not experience mental imagery vividly. We will try to understand how this condition, known as aphantasia, occurs. And we ask what consequences this may have for memory processing. Although our overarching goal is to develop a neurobiological theory of consciousness, we also try to apply our findings for the treatment of brain disorders such as trauma-related flashbacks and hallucinations.
Main Research Field
Related Research Fields
Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.
- * V Taschereau-Dumouchel, A Cortese, T Chiba, JD Knotts, M Kawato, H Lau
Towards an unconscious neural reinforcement intervention for common fears
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115 (13), 3470-3475 (2017)
- * MAK Peters, T Thesen, YD Ko, B Maniscalco, C Carlson, M Davidson, W Doyle, R Kuzniecky, O Devinsky, E Halgren, H Lau
Perceptual confidence neglects decision-incongruent evidence in the brain
Nature human behaviour 1 (7), 1-8 (2017)
- * V Taschereau-Dumouchel, M Kawato, H Lau
Multivoxel pattern analysis reveals dissociations between subjective fear and its physiological correlates
Molecular psychiatry 25 (10), 2342-2354 (2020)
- * B Odegaard, RT Knight, H Lau
Should a few null findings falsify prefrontal theories of conscious perception?
Journal of Neuroscience 37 (40), 9593-9602 (2017)
- * V Taschereau-Dumouchel, C Cushing, H Lau
Real-Time Functional MRI in the Treatment of Mental Health Disorders
Annual Review of Clinical Psychology 18 (in press)
- * JD Knotts, B Odegaard, H Lau, D Rosenthal
Subjective inflation: phenomenology’s get-rich-quick scheme
Current opinion in psychology 29, 49-55 (2019)
- * Michel, M., & Lau, H.
On the dangers of conflating strong and weak versions of a theory of consciousness.
Philosophy and the Mind Sciences, 1(II). https://doi.org/10.33735/phimisci.2020.II.54 (2020)
- * H Lau, M Michel
A socio-historical take on the meta-problem of consciousness
Journal of consciousness studies 26 (9-10), 136-147 (2019)
- * R Brown, H Lau, JE LeDoux
Understanding the higher-order approach to consciousness
Trends in cognitive sciences 23 (9), 754-768 (2019)
- * JD Knotts, B Odegaard, H Lau
Neuroscience: The key to consciousness may not be under the streetlight
Current Biology 28 (13), R749-R752 (2018)