jorge morales

I'm a Provost's Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, where I'm the resident philosopher in Chaz Firestone's Lab. 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 the tools of philosophy, psychology and neuroscience to understand 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 understand 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 the tools of 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 processes as well as the neural architecture that make metacognition possible.

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 architecture that supports subjective states such as confidence and conscious awareness.

Importantly, asking fundamental questions about the subjective character of the mind invites me, and in fact forces me, to branch out into other areas such as general philosophy of science as well as moral and social philosophy, broadly construed: from the neural basis of voluntary action and the risks posed by new 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