Tony Ro


Main Affiliation



NAC 7/245





Tony Ro


Tony Ro completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of California at Berkeley and received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of California at Davis. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University College London. He then became an Assistant Professor and then an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Rice University, and is now a Professor in the Department of Psychology at The City College of the City University of New York and the Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Program at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

His research is primarily aimed at understanding the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying attention, perception, and action. He utilizes transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI and fMRI), patients with neurological deficits after focal brain damage, and psychophysical methods to address questions regarding conscious and unconscious perception, multisensory processing, attention and eye movements, face perception, and motor control.


Postdoctoral Fellowship
Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience
University College London, U.K.

Ph.D., Neuroscience
University of California at Davis
Dissertation: " The Cognitive Neuroscience of Visual Distractor Interference"

B.A., Psychology
High Honors and Distinction in General Scholarship
University of California at Berkeley
Thesis: "Color Detection Without Attention"

Courses Taught

Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness
Attention and Performance
Cognitive Neuroscience
Cognitive Psychology

Research Interests

Cognitive Neuroscience. Attention, perception, and action.


Representative Publications:


Seyal, M., Ro, T., & Rafal, R. D. (1995). Increased sensitivity to ipsilateral cutaneous stimuli following transcranial magnetic stimulation of the parietal lobe. Annals of Neurology, 38, 264-267.

Ro, T., & Rafal, R. D. (1996). Perception of geometric illusions in hemispatial neglect. Neuropsychologia, 34, 973-978.

Ro, T., Henik, A., Machado, L., & Rafal, R.D. (1997). Transcranial magnetic stimulation of the prefrontal cortex delays contralateral endogenous saccades. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 9, 433-440.

Ro, T., Cohen, A., Ivry, R. B., & Rafal, R. D. (1998). Response channel activation and the temporo-parietal junction. Brain and Cognition, 37, 461-476.

Ro, T., Cheifet, S., Ingle, H., Shoup, R., & Rafal, R. D. (1999). Localization of the human frontal eye fields and motor hand area with transcranial magnetic stimulation and magnetic resonance imaging. Neuropsychologia, 37, 225-231.   

Ro, T., Pratt, J., & Rafal, R. D. (2000). Inhibition of return in saccadic eye movements. Experimental Brain Research, 130, 264-268.

Ro, T., Russell, C., & Lavie, N. (2001). Changing faces: A detection advantage in the flicker paradigm. Psychological Science, 12, 94-99.

Ro, T., Rorden, C., Driver, J., & Rafal, R. (2001). Ipsilesional biases in saccades but not perception after lesions of the human inferior parietal lobule. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 13, 920-929.

Dodds, C., Machado, L., Rafal, R., & Ro, T. (2002). A temporal /nasal asymmetry for blindsight in a localisation task: Evidence for extrageniculate mediation. NeuroReport, 13, 655-658.

Ro, T., Machado, L., Kanwisher, N., & Rafal, R. D. (2002). Covert orienting to the locations of targets and distractors: Effects on response channel activation in a flanker task. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 55, 917-936.

Ro, T., Farnè, A, & Chang, E. (2003). Inhibition of return and the human frontal eye fields. Experimental Brain Research, 150, 290-296.

Ro, T., Breitmeyer, B., Burton, P., Singhal, N., & Lane, D. (2003). Feedback contributions to visual awareness in human occipital cortex. Current Biology, 11, 1038-1041.

Ro, T., Wallace, R., Hagedorn, J., Farnè, A., & Pienkos, E. (2004). Visual enhancing of tactile perception in the posterior parietal cortex. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 16, 24-30.

Breitmeyer, B., Ro, T., & Singhal, N. (2004). Unconscious color priming occurs at stimulus-dependent not percept-dependent levels of visual processing. Psychological Science, 15, 198-202.

Ro, T., Shelton, D., Lee, O., Chang, E. (2004). Extrageniculate mediation of unconscious vision in transcranial magnetic stimulation-induced blindsight. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 101, 9933-9935

Boyer, J., Harrison, S., & Ro, T. (2005). Unconscious processing of orientation and color without primary visual cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102, 16875-16879.

Ro, T., Noser, E., Boake, C., Wallace, R., Gaber, M., Bernstein, M., Speroni, A., De Joya, A., Burgin, S.W., Zhang, L., Grotta, J., & Levin, H. (2006). Functional reorganization and recovery after constraint induced movement therapy in acute stroke: Case Reports. Neurocase, 12, 50-60.

Olk, B., Chang, E., Kingstone, A., & Ro, T. (2006). Modulation of antisaccades by transcranial magnetic stimulation of the human frontal eye field. Cerebral Cortex, 16, 76-82.

Johnson, R. M., Burton, P., & Ro, T. (2006). Visually induced feelings of touch. Brain Research, 1073-4, 398-406.

Chang, E., & Ro, T. (2007). Maintenance of visual stability in the human posterior parietal cortex. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19, 266-274.

Ro, T., Friggel, A., & Lavie, N. (2007). Attentional biases for faces and body parts. Visual Cognition, 15, 322-348.

Boyer, J., & Ro, T. (2007). Attention attenuates metacontrast masking. Cognition, 104, 135-149.

Beauchamp, M. S., Yasar, N. E., Kishan, N., & Ro, T. (2007). Human MST but not MT responds to vibrotactile stimulation. Journal of Neuroscience, 27, 8261-8267.

Ro, T., Farnè, A., Johnson, R., Wedeen, V., Chu, Z., Wang, Z., Hunter, J. V., & Beauchamp, M. S. (2007). Feeling sounds after a thalamic lesion.  Annals of Neurology, 62, 433-441.

Ro, T. (2008). Unconscious vision in action. Neuropsychologia, 46, 379-383.

Beauchamp, M. S., Yasar, N., Frye, R., & Ro, T. (2008). Integration of touch, sound and vision in human superior temporal sulcus. NeuroImage, 41, 1011-1020.

Beauchamp, M.S. & Ro, T. (2008).  Neural substrates of sound-touch synesthesia following a thalamic lesion.  Journal of Neuroscience, 28, 13696-13702.

Ro, T., Singhal, N., Breitmeyer, B., & Garcia, J.  (2009). Unconscious processing of color and form in metacontrast masking.  Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 71, 95-103.

Mathewson, K. E., Gratton, G., Fabiani, M., Beck, D. M., & Ro, T.  (2009).  To see or not to see: pre-stimulus oscillatory microstates predict visual awareness.  Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 2725-2732.

Ro, T., Hsu, J., Yasar, N., Elmore, L.C., & Beauchamp, M. S.  (2009). Sound enhances tactile perception.  Experimental Brain Research, 195, 135-143.

Ro, T., Friggel, A., & Lavie, N.  (2009).  Musical expertise modulates the effects of visual perceptual load. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 71, 671-674.

Pasalar, S., Ro, T., & Beauchamp, M. S. (2010).  TMS of posterior parietal cortex disrupts visual tactile multisensory integration. European Journal of Neuroscience, 31, 1783-1790.

Beauchamp, M. S., Pasalar, S., & Ro, T. (2010).  Neural substrates of reliability-weighted visual-tactile multisensory integration. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 4, 1-11.

Ro, T.  (2010). What can TMS tell us about visual awareness?  Cortex, 46, 110-113.

Bolognini, N., & Ro, T. (2010). Transcranial magnetic stimulation: Disrupting neural activity to alter and assess brain function. Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 9647-9650.

Mathewson, K. E., Lleras, A., Beck, D. M., Fabiani, M., Ro, T., Gratton, G. (2011). Pulsed out of awareness: EEG alpha oscillations represent a pulsed-inhibition of ongoing cortical processing. Frontiers in Psychology, 2(99), 1-15.

Persuh, M. & Ro, T. (2012).  Context-dependent brightness priming occurs without visual awareness. Consciousness & Cognition, 21, 177-185.

Ro, T., Ellmore, T., & Beauchamp, M. S. (in press).  A neural link between hearing and feeling. Cerebral Cortex.

Khoo, W. L., Knapp, J., Palmer, F., Ro, T., & Zhu, Z. (in press). Designing and testing wearable range-vibrotactile devices. Journal of Assistive Technologies.

Emmanouil, T., Burton, P., & Ro, T. (in press). Unconscious processing of unattended features in human visual cortex. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Emmanouil, T., Avigan, P., Persuh, M., & Ro, T. (in press). Saliency affects feedforward more than feedback processing in primary visual cortex. Neuropsychologia.

Persuh, M., & Ro, T. (in press). Unconscious priming requires primary visual cortex at specific temporal phases of processing. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.