Dr Suresh Muthukumaraswamy



Suresh completed his PhD in psychology at the University of Auckland in 2005 after which he joined the newly established Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre as a post-doctoral fellow. In 2014 Suresh received a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship and has returned to Auckland where he works in The School of Pharmacy (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences).

Suresh is a Principal Investigator in the Centre for Brain Research and the Auckland Neuropsychopharmacology Research Group

Research | Current

Suresh’s main research interests are in understanding how therapies alter brain activity and in developing methodologies to measure these changes in both healthy individuals and patient groups. His previous studies have involved a range of compounds including hallucinogens (ketamine, LSD, psilocybin), anaesthetics (propofol, dexmedetomidine), anti-epileptics (vigabatrin, perampanel, tiagabine) and GABA-enhancers (zolpidem, gaboxadol). Suresh’s research has used a wide-range of neuroimaging techniques including magnetoencephalography, electroencephalography, functional magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Examples of current research projects include

   1. Simultaneous EEG/fMRI studies of ketamine and midazolam

   2. Brain imaging the effects of ketamine in treatment-resistant depression

   3. The use of rapid transcranial magnetic stimulation in treatment-resistant depression

   4. The effects of scopolamine in depression

Suresh has an extensive network of scientific and clinical collaborators in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom

Teaching | Current

Pharmacy 410 - Research Dissertation (Course co-ordinator)

Pharmacy 411

Psychology 305 - Human Neuroscience

Postgraduate supervision

Rachael Sumner (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Anna Forsyth (PhD student)

Rebecca McMillan (PhD student)

Kate Godfrey (PhD Student)

Joseph Chen (PhD student)

Julia Plank (PhD student - co-supervisor)

Sarah McGrannachan (Research Nurse)

Students interested in doing with research with Suresh are welcome to get in touch with him. Students doing research with Suresh will generally be exposed to human psychopharmacology research using EEG and/or fMRI. A background in neuroscience is preferable and a willingness to learn computational techniques (usually in MATLAB) essential.


Rutherford Discovery Fellowship (2014). Royal Society of New Zealand.


Postgraduate Advisor. School of Pharmacy.

Areas of expertise

Neuroimaging, neuropharmacology, psychopharmacology

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Handling Editor: NeuroImage

Editorial Board: AIMS Neuroscience

FMHS Postgraduate Studies Committee

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • McMillan, R., & Muthukumaraswamy, S. D. (2020). The neurophysiology of ketamine: an integrative review. Reviews in the neurosciences, 31 (5), 457-503. 10.1515/revneuro-2019-0090
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rebecca McMillan
  • Sumner, R. L., Spriggs, M. J., Muthukumaraswamy, S. D., & Kirk, I. J. (2020). The role of Hebbian learning in human perception: a methodological and theoretical review of the human Visual Long-Term Potentiation paradigm. Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews, 115, 220-237. 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2020.03.013
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rachael Sumner, Ian Kirk
  • Chen, J. C. C., Forsyth, A., Dubowitz, D., & Muthukumaraswamy, S. D. (2020). On the Quality, Statistical Efficiency, and Safety of Simultaneously Recorded Multiband fMRI/EEG. Brain Topography, 33 (3), 303-316. 10.1007/s10548-020-00761-w
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/50370
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Joseph Chen, Anna Forsyth
  • Barnett, L., Muthukumaraswamy, S. D., Carhart-Harris, R. L., & Seth, A. K. (2020). Decreased directed functional connectivity in the psychedelic state. NeuroImage, 20910.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116462
  • McMillan, R., Sumner, R., Forsyth, A., Campbell, D., Malpas, G., Maxwell, E., ... Sundram, F. (2020). Simultaneous EEG/fMRI recorded during ketamine infusion in patients with major depressive disorder. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry, 9910.1016/j.pnpbp.2019.109838
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rachael Sumner, Rhys Ponton, Frederick Sundram, Anna Forsyth, Rebecca McMillan
  • Liley, D. T. J., & Muthukumaraswamy, S. D. (2020). Evidence that alpha blocking is due to increases in system-level oscillatory damping not neuronal population desynchronisation. NeuroImage, 20810.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116408
  • Adhikari, B. M., Dukart, J., Hipp, J. F., Forsyth, A., McMillan, R., Muthukumaraswamy, S. D., ... Jahandshad, N. (2020). Effects of ketamine and midazolam on resting state connectivity and comparison with ENIGMA connectivity deficit patterns in schizophrenia. Human brain mapping, 41 (3), 767-778. 10.1002/hbm.24838
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Anna Forsyth, Rebecca McMillan
  • Sumner, R. L., McMillan, R., Spriggs, M. J., Campbell, D., Malpas, G., Maxwell, E., ... Kirk, I. J. (2020). Ketamine Enhances Visual Sensory Evoked Potential Long-term Potentiation in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder. Biological psychiatry. Cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging, 5 (1), 45-55. 10.1016/j.bpsc.2019.07.002
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/48823
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rebecca McMillan, Rachael Sumner, Ian Kirk, Frederick Sundram, Rhys Ponton


Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 505 - Bldg 505
Level 3, Room 327C
New Zealand

Web links