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Professor Robert O'Shea
BSc(Hons)(UQ), PhD(UQ)
Current Appointment: Adjunct Professor
Organisational Unit: School of Health & Human Sciences - Lismore

Telephone: +61 8 9360 7284
Facsimile: 6659 3202
Location: Psychology
Campus: Coffs Harbour


Personal web site


I was awarded BSc and PhD degrees in Psychology from the University of Queensland. My doctoral dissertation on binocular rivalry was supervised by Boris Crassini. In 1983, I left Australia's fair shores for a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship with Peter Dodwell in the Department of Psychology at Queen's University. There followed two years of another Postdoctoral Fellowship with Randolph Blake at Northwestern University, and a year with Don Mitchell at Dalhousie Univerity.

In 1988, I took up a Lectureship (= Assistant Professorship) in the Department of Psychology at University of Otago. In 1996, I was promoted to Senior Lecturer (= Associate Professor). In 2009, I took up the Chair of Psychology in the School of Health and Human Sciences at Southern Cross University.


I am interested in how our brains produce the experiences of the things we see. I conduct laboratory experiments in which I either measure the electrical activity of the brain non-invasively with scalp electrodes (electroencehpalography, EEG) or ask people very simple questions about what they see (psychophysics), usually when they are viewing something in which the experiences they have change without any change in the information coming into the eyes (multistable phenomena including binocular rivalry and monocular rivalry). I also conduct experiments on depth perception, colour perception, and motion perception and am interested in visual perception in the real world, outside the laboratory.

Please go here if you want to be involved in this research.


I am passionate about teaching good writing and critical thinking about research. I have published two books (the second an American adaptation of the first):

O’Shea, R. P., & McKenzie, W. (2013). Writing for psychology (6th. ed.). Melbourne: Cengage.
Mitchell, M. L., Jolley, J. M., & O’Shea, R. P. (2013).Writing for psychology (4th. ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Wadsworth.


Member of Association for Research on Vision and Ophthalmology 1983-2000.
Associate Editor of Perception & Psychophysics, 1995 - 1998.
Programme Chair for Conference on Neural Information Processing (ICONIP'97), 1997.
Co-organizer of the Symposium How the brain constructs reality, 2000.
Organizer of 31st Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC'04), held at University of Otago, 16-18 April 2004.
Editor of Vision for Scholarpedia, 2008-2011.

This page was created 26 May 2009.
This page was last updated on 6 Oct 2015.

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Last Updated: 13/01/2013 07:11:27 PM