Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UNSW School of Psychiatry
Affiliated Scientist, NeuRA
02 9399 1866
I am an early-career postdoctoral researcher in the School of Psychiatry UNSW Sydney and an affiliated scientist at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA). I received a PhD scholarship from the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research to complete my doctoral studies at the University of Tours (France). I subsequently joined the Research Unit for Schizophrenia Epidemiology at UNSW and the Stress-related Psychopathology research stream at NeuRA.
I have a particular interest in identifying the neurobiological underpinnings of stress and trauma in relation to psychiatric conditions. My present research interests are two-fold:
LEAH GIRSHKIN PhD Student
STACY TZOUMAKIS Lecturer
DR KRISTIN LAURENS Senior Research Scientist
JESSECA ROWLAND PhD Student
KIMBERLIE DEAN Principle Research Scientist
FELICITY HARRIS Research Officer
PROF VAUGHAN CARR Senior Principle Research Scientist
Dysfunctions in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and the cerebellum may represent early functional brain modifications that alter higher cognitive processes when emotional material is involved.
Contrary to some – but not all – previous findings, this study of a large sample of schizophrenia cases and healthy controls reveals no evidence for association between grey matter alterations and variation in rs1344706 (ZNF804A). Differences in sample sizes and ethnicities may account for discrepant findings between the present and previous studies.
Virtual reality (VR)-based paradigms use visual stimuli that can modulate visuo-motor networks leading to the stimulation of brain circuits. The aims of this study were to compare the changes in blood-oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal when watching and imitating moving real (RH) and virtual hands (VH) in 11 healthy participants (HP). No differences were found between the observation of RH or VH making this VR-based experiment a promising tool for rehabilitation protocols. VH-imitation involved more the ventral premotor cortex (vPMC) as part of the mirror neuron system (MNS) compared to execution and VH-observation conditions. The dorsal-anterior Precuneus (da-Pcu) as part of the Precuneus/posterior Cingulate Cortex (Pcu/pCC) complex, a key node of the Default Mode Network (DMN), was also less deactivated and therefore more involved. These results may reflect the dual visuo-motor roles for the vPMC and the implication of the da-Pcu in the reallocation of attentional and neural resources for bimodal task management. The ventral Pcu/pCC was deactivated regardless of the condition confirming its role in self-reference processes. Imitation of VH stimuli can then modulate the activation of specific areas including those belonging to the MNS and the DMN.