Neural Axis®

Neural Axis®

Academic ~ About & Brief CV

I am a neuroscientist, educator, and editor. I am currently completing a PhD at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (University of Newcastle, Australia), in collaboration with the Interacting Minds Centre (Aarhus University, Denmark). My work is in cognitive neuroscience and neurorehabilitation, and centres around body ownership, agency, predictive processing, and mind-body interventions in stroke rehabilitation. I leverage multi-sensory processing in a virtual reality environment to tease apart components of selfhood and agency, with the goal of enhancing them. My experience as a mind-body practitioner and instructor (various forms of mindful movement, meditation, and contemplation) informs my work. Previous work includes functional genetic models of schizophrenia, transcriptomics of language and autism using neuronal cell culture, and evolutionary-aesthethic theory of visual perception.

My broader interests lie in elucidating the neurocognitive underpinnings that regulate the sense of self and volition across variations of body schema. The mind-body practices of wisdom traditions are a point of departure for inspiring hypotheses to this end. I am additionally fascinated by economics, esoteric models of body and mind, and complex systems.

Research interests:

  • Mind-body/self-cultivation methodology & interventions
  • Consciousness
    • Bodily self-consciousness; selfhood
    • Agency/will/volition
    • Theory and philosophy of consciousness: Predictive processing; free-energy principle; enactivism/embodiment
    • AI & synthetic consciousness
    • Non-ordinary states of consciousness
    • Eastern & Western models of consciousness
  • Neurophenomenology
    • Microphenomenology & "elicitation interviews"
  • Virtual reality (VR)
  • Neurocognitive rehabilitation
  • Complex systems
  • Metaresearch/meta-science
  • Integral Theory

Brief Curriculum Vitae:

Grants & Awards:

  • 2017: Visiting Researcher Travel Grant, Faculty of Health, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • 2017: Francisco Varela Award 2016, Mind & Life Europe
  • 2017: Commercial validation grant, Team "VR Rehab", CSIRO ON Prime pre-accelerator program
  • 2016: Visiting Researcher Travel Grant, Faculty of Health, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • 2016–2018: Top-up Doctoral Research Scholarship, University of Newcastle, Australia
  • 2015: Research Higher Degree Travel Grant, University of Newcastle, Australia
  • 2015–2018: International Postgraduate Research Scholarship, University of Newcastle, Australia

Talks:

  • From tool-making to self-replication in AI: causal biomimesis & non-ordinary consciousness for artificial intelligence. Living Machines Conference 2017 (Stanford University, USA)

  • Causal biomimesis: self-replication as evolutionary consequence. 13 May 2017: Sydney Philosophy of Psychology Meeting (University of Sydney, Australia)

  • 20 October 2016: Cognition Group presentation (University of Newcastle)

  • 22 September 2016: Virtual Reality Lab, CITEC (Bielefeld University, Germany)

  • 16 November 2015: Postgraduate Students Day (University of Newcastle)

Miscellaneous Education:

Publications:

  • Gabriel Axel Montes (2017). Virtual reality for non-ordinary consciousness. (submitted)
  • Gabriel Axel Montes (2017). Causal biomimesis: self-replication as evolutionary consequence. Living Machines Conference 2017: Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, pp. 328 – 347. Springer. July, 2017.  [PDF]
  • Gabriel Axel Montes (2017). Non-ordinary consciousness for artificial intelligence. Living Machines Conference 2017: Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, pp. 348 – 362. Springer. July, 2017. [PDF]
  • Gabriel Axel Montes, Bryan Paton, Andreas Roepstorff, Michael Nilsson, Christopher Levi (2017). Mind-body approaches for cognitive rehabilitation in stroke survivors. (manuscript in preparation)
  • Gabriel Axel Montes (2017). "Selfing": Self-cultivation through mind-body methodology, a free-energy perspective. (manuscript in preparation)
  • Gabriel Axel Montes (2017). The 'subtle body': models of deep interoceptive inference. (manuscript in preparation)
  • Gabriel Axel Montes & Mariana Caplan (2017). Neuroscience, yoga, and psychology. Yoga & Psychology. Sounds True. (in press)
  • Gabriel Axel Montes (2016). Body ownership and agency in chronic stroke survivors with upper-limb motor deficits: a predictive processing perspective. (Poster, Barcelona Cognition Brain and Technology Summer School 2016; Barcelona, Spain)
  • Gabriel Axel Montes (2016). Body ownership and agency in chronic stroke survivors with upper-limb motor deficits: a predictive processing perspective. (Poster, Aegina Summer School on Social Cognition 2016; Aegina, Greece)
  • Gabriel Axel Montes (2015). IntroductionProceedings of the Yoga & Psyche Conference (2014). Cambridge Scholars Publishing. (Link to volume)
  • Gabriel Axel Montes (2015). Neural Active: a framework for mind-body practice, neuroscience, and education. (Poster, Mind & Life Europe Summer Research Institute, 2015)
  • Gabriel Axel Montes (2010). Vision: the art of evolution. (Master's Thesis). [Link]