Dr Steven Miller

Dr Steven Miller is a clinician in occupational and pain medicine and a researcher in clinical neuroscience, visual neuroscience and consciousness science. He heads the Perceptual and Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory at MAPrc, which is engaged in basic science and clinical research. The lab has also recently entered the virtual research environment with its new Binocular Rivalry Online project. 


Dr Miller has made, and continues to make, significant contributions to science including: 

- Discovering that the rate of binocular rivalry is slow in bipolar disorder – Published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London and Psychological Medicine. (With J. Pettigrew)

- Demonstrating that an individual’s binocular rivalry rate is under substantial genetic control – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. (With N. Martin, M. Wright and colleagues)

- Performing the first brain stimulation experiments on binocular rivalry – Current Biology; featured on the front cover. (With J. Pettigrew and colleagues)

- Proposing a new neurophysiological model of binocular rivalry and a new pathophysiological model of bipolar disorder – Current Biology and Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. (With J. Pettigrew)

- Developing an online binocular rivalry test for convenient and low-resource testing of large-scale clinical and control samples (thousands to tens of thousands of subjects), aiming to (i) improve genome-wide association studies of clinical disorders, (ii) examine clinical disorder diagnostic discrimination, and (iii) facilitate standardisation of behavioural protocols for binocular rivalry testing. (With P.Law, Monash Faculty of IT, and QIMR Berghofer)

- Driving research on neuromodulation with caloric vestibular stimulation — a simple, safe, affordable and non-invasive brain stimulation technique — to treat various clinical conditions. (With T. Ngo)

- Performing detailed analyses of empirical and conceptual foundations of consciousness science, and proposing new foundations for this nascent discipline. 

Dr Miller has been awarded competitive funding from NHMRC, Victorian Neurotrauma Initiative, Defence Health Foundation, The Brain and Behavior Foundation (USA) and Monash Institute of Medical Engineering. Most recently, Dr Miller's Binocular Rivalry Online project was awarded a Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund grant from the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services. Dr Miller previously held an NHMRC Medical Post-Graduate Research Scholarship and a Victorian Neurotrauma Initiative Early Career Practitioner Fellowship. He was awarded a prestigious NARSAD Young Investigator Grant from the Brain and Behaviour Foundation (USA). Dr Miller sits on the Clinical Panel of the Victorian Government’s Transport Accident Commission and WorkSafe.  

The Perceptual and Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory’s interests include:


Binocular Rivalry

- Mechanisms of binocular rivalry, and attentional processing during rivalry

- Binocular rivalry in clinical psychiatric groups, especially bipolar disorder

- Binocular rivalry in genetic and neurological conditions

- Large-scale genetic and clinical studies of binocular rivalry

- Development of a web-based testing platform for large-scale studies of binocular rivalry and standardised binocular rivalry testing


Brain Stimulation / Neuromodulation

- Non-invasive neuromodulation techniques, particularly caloric vestibular stimulation (CVS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

- Non-invasive neuromodulation of persistent pain

- Non-invasive neuromodulation of mania and depression

- Non-invasive neuromodulation of other psychiatric and neurologic conditions


Latest neuromodulation data


The Scientific Study of Consciousness

- Binocular rivalry and the scientific study of consciousness

- Foundational issues in the science and philosophy of consciousness

- Interpreting brain stimulation and inhibition experiments in consciousness science



Recent books




Current staff:

Dr Phillip Law

Lab Alumni:

Dr Trung Ngo (NHMRC Clinical Post-Doctoral Fellowship)

Dr Bryan Paton (PhD; main supervisor Jakob Hohwy)

Dr Wendy Barsdell (DPsych)

Mr Colin Palmer (Phil Hons; main supervisor Jakob Hohwy)

Ms Jacqui Leonard (Psych Hons)

Interested students please contact: Steven.Miller@monash.edu

Selected Publications:




Law PCF, Riddiford JA, Paton BK, Gurvich CT, Ngo TT, Miller SM (2015). No relationship between binocular rivalry rate and eye-movement profiles in healthy individuals: A Bayes factor analysis. Perception 44 (6): 643–661.

Miller SM (2014). Closing in on the constitution of consciousness. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 1293. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01293

Law PCF, Paton BK, Thomson RH, Liu GB, Miller SM, Ngo TT (2013). Dichoptic viewing methods for binocular rivalry research: Prospects for large-scale clinical and genetic studies. Twin Research and Human Genetics 16 (6): 1033–1078.

Ngo TT, Barsdell WN, Law PCF, Miller SM (2013). Binocular rivalry, brain stimulation and bipolar disorder. In S. M. Miller (Ed.), The constitution of visual consciousness: Lessons from binocular rivalry (pp. 211–252). Advances in Consciousness Research (Vol. 90). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company.     

Miller SM, Ngo TT, van Swinderen B (2012). Attentional switching in humans and flies: Rivalry in large and miniature brains. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 5: 188.

Ngo TT, Mitchell PB, Martin NG, Miller SM (2011). Psychiatric and genetic studies of binocular rivalry: An endophenotype for bipolar disorder? Acta Neuropsychiatrica 23(1): 37–42.

Miller SM, Hansell NK, Ngo TT, Liu GB, Pettigrew JD, Martin NG, Wright MJ (2010). Genetic contribution to individual variation in binocular rivalry rate. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107 (6): 2664–2668.    

Been G, Ngo TT, Miller SM, Fitzgerald PB (2007). The use tDCS and CVS as methods of non-invasive brain stimulation. Brain Research Reviews 56 (2): 346–361.

Miller SM, Ngo TT (2007). Studies of caloric vestibular stimulation: Implications for the cognitive neurosciences, the clinical neurosciences and neurophilosophy. Acta Neuropsychiatrica 19 (3): 183–203. 

Miller SM (2007). On the correlation/constitution distinction problem (and other hard problems) in the scientific study of consciousness. Acta Neuropsychiatrica, 19 (3): 159–176.

Miller SM, Gynther BD, Heslop KR, Liu GB, Mitchell PB, Ngo TT, Pettigrew JD, Geffen LB (2003). Slow binocular rivalry in bipolar disorder. Psychological Medicine 33 (4): 683–692.

Miller SM, Liu GB, Ngo TT, Hooper G, Riek S, Carson RG, Pettigrew JD (2000). Interhemispheric switching mediates perceptual rivalry. Current Biology 10 (7): 383–392.

Pettigrew JD, Miller SM (1998). A ‘sticky’ interhemispheric switch in bipolar disorder? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B (Biological Sciences), 265 (1411): 2141–2148.


Full publication list available at: ResearchGate

 MAPrc Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Level 4, 607 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004

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