David Carmel


  • Psychology
  • School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Contact details



Room F16, Psychology Building

7 George Square, Edinburgh
Post code


I did my undergraduate degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in Israel, where I completed a double-major BA in Psychology and humanities. I also studied medicine for three years, but decided I’d rather teach and do research, so I turned to pursuing a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London. After completing my PhD in 2007, I went on to work as a Research Scientist at New York University, and then joined the Psychology Department at Edinburgh as a lecturer in 2012. Here, I run the Brain Stimulation lab in the Cognitive Neuroscience Suite, and use brain stimulation and psychophysics techniques to investigate human consciousness.


Representative publications

  • Grimshaw, G., Kranz, L., Carmel, D., Moodie, R., & Devue, C. (2017, in press). Contrasting reactive and proactive control of emotional distraction. Emotion. (Preprint: https://osf.io/pt986/)

  • Carmel, D., & Sprevak, M. (2015). What is consciousness? In Massimi, M. (Ed.), Philosophy and the Sciences For Everyone, Routledge.

  • Carmel, D. (2015). The promise and pitfalls of cognitive enhancement. In Berne, R. (Ed.), Creating Life from Life: Biotechnology and Science Fiction. Pan Stanford.

  • Block, N., Carmel, D., Fleming, S.M., Kentridge, R.W., Koch, C., Lamme, V.A.F., Lau, H., & Rosenthal, D. (2014). Consciousness Science: real progress and lingering misconceptions. Trends In Cognitive Sciences, 18(11), 556-557.

  • Grimshaw, G., & Carmel, D. (2014). An asymmetric inhibition model of hemispheric differences in emotional processing. Frontiers in Psychology 5:489.

  • Sip, K. E., Carmel, D., Marchant, J. L., Li, J., Petrovic, P., Roepstorff, A., McGregor, W. B., & Frith, C. D. (2013). When Pinocchio’s nose does not grow: belief regarding lie-detectability modulates production of deception. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7:16. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00016
  • Carmel, D., Fairnie, J., & Lavie, N. (2012). Weight and see: Loading working memory improves incidental identification of irrelevant faces. Frontiers in Psychology, 3:286. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00286
  • Raio, C. M.*, Carmel, D.*†, Carrasco, M., & Phelps, E.A. (2012). Unconscious fear is quickly acquired but swiftly forgotten. Current Biology, 22 (12), R477-479. *Equal contribution, †Corresponding author
  • Carmel, D., Thorne, J., Rees, G., & Lavie, N. (2011). Perceptual load alters visual excitability. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 37 (5), 1350-1360. doi: 10-1037/a0024320
  • Carmel, D. (2011). Experimental Philosophy: Surveys alone won't fly (Letter). Science, 332, 1262.
  • Kanai, R., Carmel, D., Bahrami, B., & Rees, G. (2011). Structural and functional fractionation of right superior parietal cortex in bistable perception. Current Biology, 21(3), R106-107.
  • Carmel, D., Walsh, V., Lavie, N., & Rees, G. (2010). Right parietal TMS shortens dominance durations in binocular rivalry. Current Biology, 20 (18), R799-800.
  • Carmel, D., Arcaro, M., Kastner, S., & Hasson, U. (2010). How to create and use binocular rivalry. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 45, doi: 10.3791/2030
  • Nasrallah, M.*, Carmel, D.*†, & Lavie, N. (2009). Murder, she wrote: Enhanced sensitivity to negative word valence. Emotion, 9 (5), 609-618. *Equal contribution, †Corresponding author
  • Carmel, D., & Carrasco, M. (2008). Perceptual learning and dynamic changes in primary visual cortex. Neuron, 57 (6), 799-801.
  • Bahrami, B., Carmel, D., Walsh, V., Rees, G., & Lavie, N. (2008). Spatial attention can modulate unconscious orientation processing. Perception, 37 (10), 1520-1528.
  • Bahrami, B., Carmel, D., Walsh, V., Rees, G., & Lavie, N. (2008). Unconscious orientation processing depends on perceptual load. Journal of Vision, 8 (3), 1-10.
  • Carmel, D., Saker, P., Rees, G., & Lavie, N. (2007). Perceptual load modulates conscious flicker perception. Journal of Vision, 7 (14), 1-13.
  • Carmel, D., Lavie, N., & Rees, G. (2006). Conscious awareness of flicker involves frontal and parietal cortex. Current Biology, 16 (9), 907-911.

Science Communication & public engagement activities




PDF icon 53663.pdf

Responsibilities & affiliations

Psychology Year 4 Course Organizer

Undergraduate teaching


At the moment, I teach the Cognitive Neuroscience component of the Psychology 1 course, as well as the 3rd-year course Critical Analysis and the 4th-year course Consciousness and Perceptual Awareness (I also teach an MSc version of Consciousness and Perceptual Awareness, as well as giving some lectures on other MSc courses such as Brain Imaging in Neuropsychology and Specialist Techniques in Psychological Research).

I am happy to meet any student to chat about anything (though things related to your studies will probably be the most relevant). Rather than keeping specific office hours, I prefer it if you just get in touch – email me at the address above, and I will always get back to you within a couple of days to arrange a meeting.

Current PhD students supervised

Research summary

  • The cognitive neuroscience of consciousness and perceptual awareness.
  • Interactions between visual awareness and attention, emotion, and working memory.
  • Top-down influences on perceptual processing.
  • Foundations of cognitive science, in particular the scientific study of consciousness.