Olivia Carter is an Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow at the University of Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences. She heads the Perception and Pharmacology Lab, where her research focuses on understanding how the brain’s natural chemicals control complex behaviours, thoughts and perceptions.
In addition to understanding the neurobiology underlying these complex processes, Olivia is interested in the neuroethical issues associated with advances in neuroscientific knowledge and drug/technology development more generally.
Olivia completed a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Queensland where her work involved a series of experiments conducted in Switzerland examining the effects of psychedelic drugs. She then spent three years at Harvard University as a Research Fellow in the Vision Lab investigating perceptual processing. She has served as the Executive Director of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness and the president to the Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society.
Much of Olivia’s recent work involves scientific approaches to understanding different types of altered consciousness – from her research on perceptual rivalry involving Tibetan monks, to the investigation of consciousness affected by psychedelic drugs or different psychiatric and neurological disorders. The study of altered states has the potential to provide important insights into the nature of consciousness.