Laravel receive array as request

In javascript, I do:

axios.post('/api/categories', {
   topCategories: JSON.stringify({ data: ['a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e'] })
})

Then, in Laravel, I receive it:

protected function getCategories(Request $request) {
    $topCategories = $request->topCategories;
    var_dump(json_decode($topCategories));
}

However, I always receive null in var_dump! Why is this happening?

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