Dr Robert O'Shea
BSc Hons (Psychology) UQ, PhD UQ

Senior Research Fellow

About me

I am a Senior Research Fellow at Murdoch University (50% teaching and 50% research) and an Adjunct Professor at Southern Cross University.

I maintain my own web site, which may well be more comprehensive and up-to-date than this information. Here it is: https://sites.google.com/site/oshearobertp/home

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 began 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 as a Research Associate with Don Mitchell at Dalhousie University. 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 May 2009, I was appointed Professor of Psychology at Southern Cross University (SCU). At the end of May 2015, I moved to my current position at Murdoch University. In July 2015, I accepted an Adjunct Professorship in the School of Health and Human Sciences at Southern Cross University.

I have had five study leaves, one at Center for Visual Science at University of Rochester working with David Williams, one at the Vision Sciences Laboratory of Harvard University working with Patrick Cavanagh, one at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Dartmouth College working with Paul Corballis, and two at University of Leipzig working with Erich Schröger.

For all of 2014, I reduced my work commitment to 0.2 to enable me to support my partner, Urte Roeber, who resumed her Assistant Professorship at University of Leipzig, and our children. The 0.2 was spent in my returning from Leipzig to SCU in the middle of the year to teach and to participate in conferences, including one I helped to organise.

The achievement I am most proud of is my four children.

Teaching area

I am currently a Unit Coordinator and lecturer for Murdoch University’s PSY412 Psychology Fourth Year SeminarPSY501 Psychology Honours Seminar, and PSY599 Graduate Seminar in Psychology.

In 2015, I wrote, coordinated, and taught Murdoch University’s PSY396 Cognitive and Developmental Neuroscience.

I have managed and taught units at all levels, from introductory units to third- year and fourth-year Honours units. Areas include introductory psychology, statistics (from introductory to advanced, including multivariate statistics), research methods, history and philosophy of psychology, and sensation and perception.

Click here for my hours for student consultation.

I am passionate about teaching good writing, possibly because I find it so hard to write well myself. I have published a book on the subject:

O’Shea, R. P., & McKenzie, W. (2013).  Writing for psychology (6th ed.). Melbourne: Cengage.

Click here for writing resources: https://sites.google.com/site/oshearobertp/home/teaching/writing-for-psychology

Research areas

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. I am interested in visual perception in the real world outside the laboratory, in the early history of binocular vision, in meteorological optics, in size and depth perception over large distances, and in colour contingent aftereffects.

Professional and community service

Professional Affiliations

Advisory Editor for Scholarpedia, 2014–
Member of  Australasian Society for Psychophysiology, 2009–
Member of  The Australasian Society for Experimental Psychology, 1998–
Member of  Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, 2014
Editor of Vision section, Scholarpedia, 2008-2011
Organiser of 31st Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC’04), 2004
Member of  American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2003
Co-organizer of the University of Otago symposium How the brain constructs reality, 2000
Member of  Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 1984–2000
Associate Editor of Perception & Psychophysics, 1995 – 1998
Programme Chair for Conference on Neural Information Processing (ICONIP’97), 1997

Community Service

Founded or made substantial revisions to 91 Wikipedia articles since 2006, mainly on sensation and perception (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Robert_P._O%27Shea)

Doctoral and masters supervisions

Alie Male, 2015– PhD in visual awareness and predictive coding
Evie Glasshouse, 2017– Part-time MPhil in neural correlates of visual awareness



  • O'Shea, R., (2017), Adult Neuroplasticity: Working One Eye Gives an Advantage to the Other, Current Biology, 27, 6, pages R230 - R231.
  • O'Shea, R., (2017), Clapare`de (1904) on Monocular Stereopsis: History, Theory, and Translation, I-perception, , September-October 2017, pages 1 - 10.
  • O'Shea, R., Roeber, U., Wade, N., (2017), Gottfried Wilhelm Osann (1833, 1836) on Simultaneous Color Contrast: Translation and Commentary, I-perception, , July-August 2017, pages 1 - 11.
  • Bradley, J., Widmann, A., O'Shea, R., SCHROGER, E., Roeber, U., (2017), Brain activity from stimuli that are not perceived: Visual mismatch negativity during binocular rivalry suppression, Psychophysiology, 54, 5, pages 755 - 763.
  • O'Shea, R., Brini, S., Wade, N., (2016), Ragona-Scins (1847) method for, and observations of, simultaneous color contrast, I-perception, 7, 2, pages 1 - 13.
  • O'Shea, R., Brini, S., Wade, N., (2016), Ragona-Scina's (1847) method for, and observations of, simultaneous color contrast, I-perception, 7, 2, pages 1 - 13.
  • Jack, B., Roeber, U., O'Shea, R., (2015), We make predictions about eye of origin of visual input: Visual mismatch negativity from binocular rivalry., Journal of Vision, 15, 13, pages 1 - 19.
  • Bradley, J., Roeber, U., O'Shea, R., (2015), We make predictions about eye of origin of visual input: Visual mismatch negativity from binocular rivalry, Journal of Vision, 15, 13, pages 1 - 19.

Recent Books

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

13. O’Shea, R. P., & McKenzie, W. A. (2013). Writing for psychology (6th
ed.) Melbourne: Thomson.

12. Mitchell, M. L., Jolley, J. M., & O’Shea, R. P. (2010). Writing for
psychology (3rd ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Wadsworth.

Recent Book Chapters and other scholarly publications

12. Blake, R., & O’Shea, R. P. (2016, in press). Binocular rivalry: Addendum. In L. R. Squire (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. Oxford: Academic Press.

11. O’Shea, R. P. (2010). Atmospheric phenomena. In E. B. Goldstein
(Ed.), Encyclopedia of Perception (pp. 67-71, xxxvii). Los Angeles:

10. O’Shea, R. P. (2010). Lightning and thunder. In E. B. Goldstein
(Ed.), Encyclopedia of Perception (pp. 528-529). Los Angeles: Sage.

9. O’Shea, R. P. (2010). McCollough effect. In E. B. Goldstein (Ed.),
Encyclopedia of Perception (pp. 547-549, xlii). Los Angeles: Sage.

8. O’Shea, R. P. (2010). Mirages. In E. B. Goldstein (Ed.), Encyclopedia
of Perception (pp. 555-557, xliii). Los Angeles: Sage.

7. O’Shea, R. P., Roeber, U., & Bach, M. (2010). Evoked potentials:
Vision. In E. B. Goldstein (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Perception (pp.
399-400, xli). Los Angeles: Sage.

Recent refereed Journal Articles

58. O’Shea, R. P., Brini, S., & Wade, N. J. (2016). Ragona-Scinà’s
(1847) method for, and observations of, simultaneous color contrast.
i-Perception, 7(2), 1-13. doi:10.1177/2041669516643239

57. Jack, B. N., Roeber, U., & O’Shea, R. P. (2015). We make
predictions about eye of origin of visual input: Visual mismatch
negativity from binocular rivalry. Journal of Vision, 15(13, 9),
1–19. doi:10.1167/15.13.9

56. O’Shea, R. P. (2015). Refractoriness about adaptation. Frontiers in
Human Neuroscience, 9(38), 1-3. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2015.00038

55. O’Shea, R. P., Chandler, N. P., & Roy, R. (2013). Dentists make
larger holes in teeth than they need to if the teeth present a visual
illusion of size. PLoS ONE, 8(10), e77343. doi:

54. Roeber, U., O’Shea, R. P., & Kornmeier, J. (2013). Predicting visual
consciousness electrophysiologically with intermittent binocular
rivalry.  PLoS ONE, 8(10), e76134. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076134

53. Jack, B. N., O’Shea, R. P., Cottrell, D., & Ritter, W. (2013). Does
the ventriloquist illusion assist selective listening? Journal of
Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 39, 1496-1502.
doi: 10.1037/a0033594

52. van Rhijn, M., Roeber, U., & O’Shea, R. P. (2013). Can eye of origin
serve as a deviant? Visual mismatch negativity from binocular rivalry.
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7(190), 1-10. doi:

51. Bhardwaj, R., & O’Shea, R. P. (2012). Temporal analysis of image
rivalry suppression. PLoS ONE, 7(9), e45407. doi:

50. O’Shea, R. P. (2011). Binocular rivalry stimuli are common but
rivalry is not. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 5(148), 1-2. doi:

49. Roeber, U., Veser, S., Schröger, E., & O’Shea, R. P. (2011). On the
role of attention in binocular rivalry: Electrophysiological evidence.
PLoS ONE, 6(7), e22612. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022612

48. Daini, R., Facchin, A., Bignotti, M., Lentini, C., Peverelli, M.,
O’Shea, R. P., & Molteni, F. (2011). Neuropsychological evidence of
high-level processing in binocular rivalry. Behavioural Neurology, 23,
233-235. doi: 10.3233/BEN-2010-0303

47. Alais, D., Cass, J., O’Shea, R. P., & Blake, R. (2010). Visual
sensitivity underlying changes in visual consciousness. Current Biology,
20, 1362-1367. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.06.01