jorge morales

I'm a Provost's Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University. I carry out research in philosophy and philosophy-inspired cognitive science in Chaz Firestone's Lab in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Before coming to Hopkins, I did a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Columbia University. Before that, I got a B.A. and an M.A. in Mexico City, where I was born and raised.

I study the subjective character of the mind with an interdisciplinary approach. I use tools from philosophy, psychology and neuroscience to further our understanding of conscious experiences: what they are, what they are about, and how we know them.

When not doing philosophy or science, I enjoy spending time with my wife and daughter, and also walking around with my camera.


The goal of my research program is to understand the subjective character of the mind and to improve how we study it scientifically. To this end, I have three complementary lines of research in which I integrate different topics—consciousness, perception, and introspection—using different methodological approaches—philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience.

(1) I study the fundamental nature and neural basis of conscious experiences. I study foundational philosophical questions about the metaphysics and functions of consciousness and how it interacts with other mental phenomena. In tandem, my research develops tools for a successful science of subjectivity that can discover the neural underpinnings of subjective confidence and conscious awareness.

(2) I study the contents of what we experience. To do this, I use vision science as a tool to make progress in questions that have proved resistant to philosophical analysis. My work on the philosophy of perception and vision science focuses on the subjective features that imbue our perceptual states—let these be themselves perceptual (e.g. perspective and attention), cognitive (e.g. Bayesian updating), or social (e.g. stereotypes).

(3) I study the mechanisms that govern what we take ourselves to be experiencing. Thus, I study the epistemic, psychological, computational and neural features of introspective mechanisms. For example, I focus on calibrating introspection's reliability and how to model the decision-making and neural processes that support metacognition.

Asking fundamental questions about the subjective character of the mind invites me, and in fact forces me, to branch out into other areas within science (e.g., memory, decision-making, emotions, pain, developmental and social psychology) and within philosophy (e.g., general philosophy of science, epistemology, and moral and social philosophy, broadly construed: from the neural basis of voluntary action and ethical challenges posed by novel neuroimaging technologies to how social stereotypes affect how we perceive—and potentially treat—others).



book chapters

work in progress

art & media

London-based artist Cathryn Shilling took the stimuli and fMRI images from our Journal of Neuroscience metacognition paper and created a splendid art installation called Metacognition in Glass.

“Embedding the experimental materials in glass embodies the notion that the brain’s machinery for self-reflection provides us with a distant, sometimes opaque view of ourselves.”

Selection of some magazines, newspapers, news websites, blogs and podcasts where my research has been recently featured:

jorge morales

johns hopkins university
psychological and brain sciences
3400 north charles st
baltimore, md 21218