Researcher biography

I completed a PhD in Neuroscience (2009) with eminent Australian neurobiologist Jack Pettigrew (FRS). My research employed caloric vestibular stimulation (CVS) — a simple, non-invasive (unihemispheric) brain stimulation technique — to demonstrate evidence for a novel neural mechanism of visual rivalry: the interhemispheric switch (IHS) model.

I was awarded an NHMRC postdoctoral clinical research fellowship to continue investigating rivalry mechanisms and abnormalities in psychiatric groups. From 2010–2015 I was project coordinator and technology lead for this work at Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre. My fellowship studies also examined CVS as a potential therapeutic intervention in persistent (chronic) pain disorders.

I am continuing this body of work with the following research projects:

[A] Validating the clinical utility of novel visual task measures for identifying individuals at increased risk of developing mental illness (e.g., young people, at-risk/early psychosis cohorts).

[B] Effectiveness of non-invasive vestibular neuromodulation protocols as a treatment for psychiatric and neurological illnesses (e.g., depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia, epilepsy, persistent pain) | #PrecisionPainMedicine

[C] Development of autonomic activity recording devices with real-time analysis output of endogenous rhythms and their clinical (diagnostic) utility in psychiatry, neurology and sleep medicine | #PrecisionSleepMedicine

[D] Phylogenetics and evolution of bistable switching — from bacterial chemotaxis and fruit fly optomotor responses to binary decision-making in mammals (e.g., approach/avoidance choice behaviour) and disordered mood/cognitive states in humans (e.g., mania/depression, denial/insight).