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 about 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 further our understanding of the subjective character of the mind. In particular, I study the cognitive architecture, the neural implementation and the mental properties that make subjectivity possible. To this end, I have three complementary lines of interdisciplinary research where I integrate tools from philosophy, psychology and neuroscience.

First, I study how subjectivity affects what we experience. I focus on the subjective features that imbue our perceptual states—let these be cognitive (e.g. Bayesian updating), perceptual (e.g. perspective), or social (e.g. stereotypes).

Second, I aim to understand the computational and neural mechanisms that govern what we take ourselves to be experiencing. Thus, I study how to better calibrate introspection and how to model the decision-making and neural processes that support metacognition.

Third, I study the nature and neural basis of subjectivity. I thus focus, on one hand, on the nature and functions of consciousness and, on the other hand, on interpreting and improving existing experimental paradigms that probe the neural substrates of confidence and conscious awareness.

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