Tony Ro, Ph.D.



Tony Ro completed his undergraduate training in the San Francisco Bay Area in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. While there, he worked with the late Professor Irvin Rock examining the influence of attention on visual perception. Much of this work has appeared in Inattentional Blindness (MIT Press), by Mack and Rock. He also was involved with studies investigating the dependency on orientation in shape perception.


For his graduate training, he worked with Professor Robert Rafal in the Center for Neuroscience at the University of California, Davis and at the VA Medical Center, Martinez. There, he conducted studies aimed at understanding the neural basis for attention and perception. Towards the end of his graduate training, he became interested in the links between attention, perception, and eye movements.


As a postdoctoral fellow at the University College London, Dr. Ro did research on face perception and attention as part of a Human Frontiers Science Program project.


In the fall of 1999, Tony Ro became an Assistant Professor and then in 2003 an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Rice University. He moved to The City College of the City University of New York in the fall of 2008, where he is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Doctoral Program. His laboratory is investigating the cognitive and neuronal architecture involved in attention, perception, and action.


Publications (click for PDF):

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

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., Avigan, P., Persuh, M., & Ro, T. (2013). Saliency affects feedforward more than feedback processing in primary visual cortex. Neuropsychologia, 51, 1497-1503.

Ro, T., Ellmore, T., & Beauchamp, M. S. (2013). A neural link between hearing and feeling. Cerebral Cortex, 23, 1724-1730.

Emmanouil, T., Burton, P., & Ro, T. (2013). Unconscious processing of unattended features in human visual cortex. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 25, 329-337.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

Arend, I., Machado, L., McGrath, M., Ro, T., Ward, R., & Rafal, R. (2008). The role of the human pulvinar in visual attention and action: evidence from temporal order judgements, saccade decision and anti-saccade tasks. Progress in Brain Research, 171, 475-483.

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

Farnč, A., Brozzoli, C., Lādavas, E., & Ro, T. (2007). Investigating multisensory spatial cognition through the phenomenon of extinction. In P. Haggard, Y. Rossetti, & M. Kawato (Eds.), Attention & Performance XXII, New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Ro, T., Farnč, 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 (Lead article).

For a review/editorial, see: Ward, J. (2007). Acquired auditory-tactile synesthesia. Annals of Neurology, 62, 429-430.

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.

Breitmeyer, B. G., Ro, T., Ogmen, H., & Todd, S. (2007). Unconscious, stimulus-dependent and conscious, percept-dependent priming with chromatic stimuli. Perception & Psychophysics, 69, 550-557.

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

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

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

Boake, C., Noser, E.A., Ro, T., Baraniuk, S., Gaber, M., Johnson, R., Salmeron, E.T., Tran, T.M., Lai, J.M., Taub, E., Moye, L.A., Grotta, J.C., Levin, H.S. (2007). Constraint-induced movement therapy in early stroke rehabilitation. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 21, 14-24.

O’'Malley, M. K., Ro, T., & Levin, H. S. (2006). Assessing and inducing neuroplasticity with TMS and robotics. Special issue on Neuroimaging in Acquired Brain Injury: Measurement, Concepts, and Applications in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 87(12 Supplement), 59-66.

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

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.

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.

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.

For a review, see: Lamme, V. A. (2006). Zap! Magnetic tricks on conscious and unconscious vision. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10, 193-195.

Ro, T., & Rafal, R. D. (2006). Visual restoration in cortical blindness: Insights from natural and TMS-induced blindsight. Special issue of Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 16, 377-396.

Ro, T. (2005). Neural mechanisms for conscious and unconscious vision. In Breitmeyer, B., & Ogmen, H. (Eds.), The First Half Second. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Farnč, A., & Ro, T. (2005). Neuroimmaginare le funzioni cognitive con la stimolazione magnetica transcranica. In Castiello, U., & Bonfiglioli, C. (Eds.), Tecniche Sperimentali di Ricerca in Psicologia, 2nd Edition. Padova: Piccin Nuova Libreria.

Chang, E., & Ro, T. (2005). Inhibition of return in perception and action. Visual Cognition, 12, 443-472.

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.

Breitmeyer, Ro, T., & Ogmen, H. (2004). A comparison of masking by visual and transcranial magnetic stimulation: implications for the study of conscious and unconscious visual processing. Consciousness & Cognition, 13, 829-843.

Grotta, J. C., Noser, E. A., Ro, T., Boake, C., Levin, H., Aronowski, J., & Schallert, T. (2004). Constraint-induced movement therapy. Stroke, 35, 2699-2701.

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

Lavie, N., Ro, T., & Russell, C. (2003). The role of perceptual load in processing distractor faces. Psychological Science, 14, 510-515.

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.

For a review, see: Faculty of 1000 Biology

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

Ro, T., Farnč, A., & Chang, E. (2002). Locating the frontal eye fields with transcranial magnetic stimulation. Special issue on Attention and Reaction Times in Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 24, 930-940.

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.

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.

Ricciardelli, P., Ro, T., & Driver, J. (2002). A left visual-field advantage in gaze perception. Neuropsychologia, 40, 769-777.

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.

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

Rafal, R. D., Machado, L., Ro, T., & Ingle, H. (2000). Looking forward to looking: Saccade preparation and the control of midbrain visuomotor reflexes. In S. Monsell & J. Driver (Eds.), Attention & Performance XVIII. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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

Ro, T., & Rafal, R. D. (1999). Components of reflexive visual orienting to moving objects. Perception & Psychophysics, 61, 826-836.

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. Special issue on TMS in Neuropsychologia, 37, 225-231.

Henik, A., Ro, T., Merrill, D., Rafal, R. D., & Safadi, Z. (1999). Interactions between color and word processing in a flanker task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 25, 198-209.

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

Tipper, S., Rafal, R. D., Reuter-Lorenz, P., Starrveldt, Y., Ro, T., Egly, R., Danziger, S. & Weaver, B. (1997). Object-based facilitation and inhibition from visual orienting in the human split-brain patient. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 23, 1522-1532.

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.

Rafal, R. D., Gershberg, F., Egly, R., Ivry, R., Kingstone, A., & Ro, T. (1996). Response channel activation and the lateral prefrontal cortex. Neuropsychologia, 34, 1197-1202.

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

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.

Rock, I., Schreiber, C., & Ro, T. (1994). The dependence of two-dimensional shape perception on orientation. Perception, 23, 1409-1426.


Programs in Psychology and Biology, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016, U.S.A.

Phone: 212.817.1814; Email: rolab.cuny(at)

Last modified: 8/28/15