Professor Mike Nicholls

Academic Status

College of Education, Psychology and Social Work

place Bedford Park (4.14)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

My first degree is in Architectural Studies (University of Adelaide), which was followed by an honours degree in Psychology. After being awarded a scholarship from the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust, I completed a PhD in Experimental Psychology at King's College, Cambridge. I then worked at the University of Melbourne for 17 years and, during that time, was promoted from lecturer through to professor. In 2010, I moved back to Adelaide to take up a Strategic Professorship in Psychology at Flinders University. I am Director of the Brain and Cognition Laboratory, which has a broad interest in cognitive processes, how they operate and how they might be represented in the brain. I have held various administrative roles including Dean and Deputy Dean of the School of Psychology, Director of the Flinders Institute of Psychological Science, Chair of the School Research Committee and Dean of Research. I have been an Editor of Laterality and an Associate Editor for the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. I was on the ARC College of Experts (SBE Panel) and am currently on the ARC's Medical Research Advisory Group.


BArchSt (Adelaide University, 1985-1987)

BA (Hons) in Psychology (Adelaide University, 1998)

PhD in Experimental Psychology (King's College, Cambridge, 1990-1993)

Honours, awards and grants

2020  Outstanding Academic Mentor Award from the Australian Psychological Society


2020 Research Network for Undersea Decision Superiority. Griffiths, Nicholls, Baetu, Russo, Bartlett & Brady.“Teach a man to fish”: Decision aids that support both learning and performance in complex environments

2019 Human Performance Research Network Grant Nicholls & Griffiths. Helped, not hindered: Optimising the use of augmented reality by Defence personnel

2016 ARC Discovery Grant: Nicholls & Thomas. Attentional asymmetries for navigation in healthy and clinical groups.

2015 ARC Discovery Grant McCarley, Nicholls & Kramer. Two pairs of eyes are (sometimes) better than one: Optimal strategies for co-operation during visual search.

2014 ARC Linkage Grant. Principal investigators: Stevens, Vincs, Leach, Nicholls, Old, DeLahunta & Kirsh.Thinking brains and bodies: distributed cognitionand dynamic memory in Australian Dance Theatre.

2013 ARC Discovery grant Nicholls, Loetscher & Spence. Close to me: The effect of distractors on spatial attention in healthy and clinical population.

2011 ARC Discovery grant . Nicholls, Forte & Spence. Left to Right is Front to Back: Attentional distortions in near and far space for healthy and clinical populations

2009 ARC Discovery grant. Nicholls & Bradshaw Left of centre: Attentional distortions in the mental representation of space in healthy and clinical populations

2005 ARC Discovery grant. Nicholls, Mattingley & Bradshaw. Attentional biases that underlie free-viewing perceptual asymmetries: Endogenous and exogenous effects

2002 ARC Large grant. Nicholls, Mattingley & Bradshaw Cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying lateral biases in human vision.

2000 ARC Large grant. Castles, Stuart & Nicholls. Visual and auditory temporal processing in varieties of dyslexia.

1999 ARC Large grant. Nicholls & Stough. A model of the temporal processing capacities of the cerebral hemispheres.

1996 ARC Large grant. Bradshaw, Philips & Nicholls. Attentional capacity and movement in basal ganglia disorders

Key responsibilities

Head: Brain & Cognition Laboratory

Topic lecturer
PSYC3010 Mind, Brain & Behaviour
Supervisory interests
Cognitive neuroscience
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Cognitive neroscience and attention (5)
Associate supervisor: Cognitive neuroscience and attention (3)