Who we are

We are a group of researchers at UC Irvine interested in how a system (biological or artificial) may become aware of its own existence and capable of perceptual experience.  Other interests include how perceptual experiences emerge from brain (or machine) function, and the nature of reality and the degree to which our percepts conform to empirical findings in physics.     

Dr. Kourosh Saberi is the Director of Conscious Systems Lab and Professor of Cognitive Sciences at UCI.  He received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, was a Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and a  Senior Research Fellow at Caltech’s Division of Biology.  Lab collaborators include  Dr. Greg Hickok, Professor of Cognitive Sciences with expertise in language and functional organization of the brain,  Dr. Haleh Farahbod, Ph.D. in Neuroscience with expertise in disorders of brain function, Dr. Don Hoffman (Ph.D., MIT) with expertise in vision, perception, and conscious agents, and Nick Alonso a Ph.D. student in Cognitive Sciences interested in models of consciousness and machine learning.

On whether machines can think

...the only way by which one could be sure that machine thinks is to be the machine and to feel oneself thinking... It is in fact the solipsit point of view.  A is liable to believe "A thinks and B does not"  whilst B believes "B thinks but A does not."  Instead of arguing continuously over this point it is usual to have the polite convention that everyone thinks. 

- Alan Turing

Selected papers

Broussard, S., Hickok, G., and Saberi, K. (2017).  Robustness of speech intelligibility at moderate levels of spectral degradation. PLOS One, 12, e0180734.

Meng, J. A., Saberi, K., and Hsieh, I. (2016).  Velocity selective networks in human cortex reveal two functionally distinct auditory motion systems.  PLOS One, 11, e0157131.

Hsieh, I, and Saberi, K. (2016).  Imperfect pitch: Gabor's uncertainty principle and the pitch of extremely brief sounds. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23, 163-171.

Hickok, G., Farahbod, H., and Saberi, K. (2015).  The rhythm of perception: Entrainment to acoustic rhythms induces subsequent perceptual oscillation. Psychological Science, 26, 1006-1013.

Okada, K., Venezia, J. H., Matchin, W., Saberi, K., and Hickok, G. (2013). An fMRI study of audiovisual speech perception reveals multisensory interactions in auditory cortex. PLOS One, 8, e68959.

Barton, B., Venezia, J. H., Saberi, K., Hickok, G., and Brewer, A. (2012).  Orthogonal acoustic dimensions define auditory field maps in human cortex.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109, 20738-20743.

Isenberg, L., Vaden, K. I., Saberi, K., Muftuler, L. T., and Hickok, G. (2011).  Functionally distinct regions for spatial processing and sensory motor integration in planum temporale. Human Brain Mapping, 33, 2453-2463.

Saberi, K., Takahashi, Y., Farahbod, H., and Konishi, M. (1999).  Neural basis of an auditory illusion and its elimination in owls.  Nature Neuroscience, 2, 656-659.

Saberi, K., and Perrott, D. R. (1999).  Cognitive restoration of reversed speech.  Nature,  398, 760.

Saberi, K., Farahbod, H., and Konishi, M. (1998).  How do owls localize interaurally phase ambiguous signals? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 95, 6465-6468.

Saberi, K., and Hafter, E. R. (1995).  A common neural code for frequency and amplitude modulated sounds. Nature, 374, 537-539.