Michael Graziano
Human Neuroscience
Human Neuroscience

Associate Professor of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute

Ph.D., Princeton University, 1996

Research: Sensorimotor integratio.

Research Lab
PDF icon michael-graziano-cv-1-2015.pdf
281 Neuroscience

Research Focus

My lab currently focuses on the brain basis of consciousness. Brains arrive at the conclusion that they have an internal, subjective experience of things — an experience that is non-physical and inexplicable. How can such a thing be studied scientifically? When an information-processing device such as the brain introspects, or accesses internal data, and on that basis arrives at the conclusion that it has a magic property inside of it, the first question for a scientist is probably not: how did that device produce magic? Or even: what is the magic? Such questions are probably not coherent. Instead, in my lab we are asking: how does a brain arrive at that kind of self-description? What is the adaptive advantage of that style of self-description? What systems in the brain compute that information? What happens when those systems are damaged? When and how did they evolve? All of these questions are scientifically approachable. My lab is currently testing a specific, mechanistic theory of awareness described in my recent book, Consciousness and the Social Brain.

Selected Publications

  • Graziano MSA, Webb TW (2014) A mechanistic theory of consciousness. International Journal of Machine Consciousness, 2, DOI: 10.1142/S1793843014400174. [PDF]
  • Graziano MSA (2014) Speculations on the evolution of awareness. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 26, 1300-1304. [PDF]
  • Kelly YT, Webb TW, Meier JD, Arcaro MJ, Graziano MSA (2014) Attributing awareness to oneself and to others. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 111: 5012-5017. [PDF]
  • Graziano MSA (2013) Consciousness and the Social Brain. Oxford University Press, Oxford UK. [Amazon Kindle]
  • Graziano MSA and Kastner S (2011) Human consciousness and its relationship to social neuroscience: A novel hypothesis. Cognitive Neuroscience, 2: 98-113. [PDF]
  • Aflalo TN and Graziano MSA (2011) The organization of the macaque extrastriate visual cortex re-examined using the principle of spatial continuity of function. Journal of Neurophysiology, 105: 305-320. [PDF]
  • Dombeck DA, Graziano MSA and Tank DW (2009) Functional clustering of neurons in motor cortex determined by cellular resolution imaging in awake behaving mice. Journal of Neuroscience, 29: 13751-13760. [PDF]
  • Macfarlaine N and Graziano MSA (2009) Diversity of Grip in Macaca mulatta. Experimental Brain Research, 197: 255-268. [PDF]
  • Meier JD, Aflalo TN, Kastner S, Graziano MSA (2008) Complex organization of human primary motor cortex: A high resolution fMRI study. Journal of Neurophysiology, 100: 1800-1812. [PDF]
  • Aflalo TN and Graziano MSA (2008) Four dimensional spatial reasoning in humans. Journal of Experimental Psychology, Human Perception and Performance, 34: 1066-1077. [PDF]

View Complete Publications list.