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:

  • 2017–2018: Francisco Varela Award 2016, Mind & Life Europe
  • 2017: Project Lead, 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

Miscellaneous Education:


  • Gabriel Axel Montes (2017). Causal biomimesis: self-replication as evolutionary consequence. (submitted) [PDF]
  • Gabriel Axel Montes (2017). Non-ordinary consciousness for artificial intelligence. (submitted) [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, Aegina Summer School on Social Cognition, 2016)
  • 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]