Alexander Shaw

Alexander Shaw
University of Exeter | UoE · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

34
Publications
3,372
Reads
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428
Citations
Introduction
Trying to unpick the pathophysiology of psychiatric disease using multimodal imaging (M/EEG, MRI, PET), pharmaco-imaging and computational modelling. Developing increasingly detailed, neurophysiologically-inspired models of the brain and optimisation routines that estimate the (synaptic) parameters of such models in light of recorded data. Absolutely convinced this "computational psychiatry" approach is the key to new and effective treatments for psychiatry.
Additional affiliations
August 2021 - present
University of Exeter
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • Trying to unpick the pathophysiology of psychiatric disease using multimodal imaging (M/EEG, MRI, PET), pharmaco-imaging and computational modelling.
July 2017 - August 2021
Cardiff University
Position
  • Research Associate
December 2015 - present
University of Cambridge
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
October 2010 - October 2014
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics And Genomics
Field of study
  • Medicine

Publications

Publications (34)
Article
Full-text available
The ability to quantify synaptic function at the level of cortical microcircuits from non-invasive data would be enormously useful in the study of neuronal processing in humans and the pathophysiology that attends many neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, we provide proof of principle that one can estimate inter-and intra-laminar interactions among sp...
Article
Full-text available
The analysis of neural circuits can provide crucial insights into the mechanisms of neurodegeneration and dementias, and offer potential quantitative biological tools to assess novel therapeutics. Here we use behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) as a model disease. We demonstrate that inversion of canonical microcircuit models to non...
Article
Full-text available
The dysconnection hypothesis of schizophrenia (SZ) proposes that psychosis is best understood in terms of aberrant connectivity. Specifically, it suggests that dysconnectivity arises through aberrant synaptic modulation associated with deficits in GABAergic inhibition, excitation-inhibition balance and disturbances of highfrequency oscillations. Us...
Article
Full-text available
Cortical recordings of task-induced oscillations following subanaesthetic ketamine administration demonstrate alterations in amplitude, including increases at high-frequencies (gamma) and reductions at low frequencies (theta, alpha). To investigate the population-level interactions underlying these changes, we implemented a thalamo-cortical model (...
Article
Full-text available
Neuroplasticity is essential to learning and memory in the brain; it has therefore also been implicated in numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders, making measuring the state of neuroplasticity of foremost importance to clinical neuroscience. Long-term potentiation (LTP) is a key mechanism of neuroplasticity and has been studied extensively...
Preprint
Synaptic loss occurs early in many neurodegenerative diseases and contributes to cognitive impairment even in the absence of gross atrophy. Currently, for human disease there are few formal models to explain how cortical networks underlying cognition are affected by synaptic loss. We advocate that biophysical models of neurophysiology offer both a...
Article
Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a promising tool for experimental medicine in dementia, and a core technology for the Dementias Platform UK. It quantifies in vivo human network and synaptic physiology, with high‐dimensional data at a millisecond time‐scale. Its proven sensitivity to neurodegenerative disease has applications in diagnostics and earl...
Article
Full-text available
Studying changes in cortical oscillations can help elucidate the mechanistic link between receptor physiology and the clinical effects of anaesthetic drugs. Propofol, a GABA-ergic drug produces divergent effects on visual cortical activity: increasing induced gamma-band responses (GBR) while decreasing evoked responses. Dexmedetomidine, an α2- adre...
Article
Full-text available
As the most abundant inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian brain, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) plays a crucial role in shaping the frequency and amplitude of oscillations, which suggests a role for GABA in shaping the topography of functional connectivity and activity. This study explored the effects of pharmacologically blocking the reuptake...
Article
Full-text available
The clinical syndromes caused by frontotemporal lobar degeneration are heterogeneous, including the behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Although pathologically distinct, they share many behavioural, cognitive and physiological features, which may in part arise from common deficits of major n...
Article
Full-text available
The variability in the response to antipsychotic medication in schizophrenia may reflect between-patient differences in neurobiology. Recent cross-sectional neuroimaging studies suggest that a poorer therapeutic response is associated with relatively normal striatal dopamine synthesis capacity but elevated anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) glutamate...
Preprint
Full-text available
The non-invasive study of cortical oscillations provides a window onto neuronal processing. Temporal correlation of these oscillations between distinct anatomical regions is considered a marker of functional connectedness. As the most abundant inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian brain, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is thought to play a crucia...
Article
Full-text available
Background Widespread structural and functional brain network changes have been shown in Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy (JME) despite normal clinical neuroimaging. We sought to better define these changes using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and source space connectivity analysis for optimal neurophysiological and anatomical localisation. Methods We co...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Understanding the effects of anaesthetic drugs on cortical oscillations can help to elucidate the mechanistic link between receptor physiology and their clinical effects. Propofol produces divergent effects on visual cortical activity: increasing induced gamma-band responses (GBR) while decreasing stimulus-onset-evoked responses) ¹ . Dex...
Preprint
Full-text available
Neuroplasticity is essential to learning and memory in the brain; it has therefore also been implicated in numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders, making measuring the state of neuroplasticity of foremost importance to clinical neuroscience. Long-term potentiation (LTP) is a key mechanism of neuroplasticity and has been studied extensively...
Article
Full-text available
To bridge the gap between preclinical cellular models of disease and in vivo imaging of human cognitive network dynamics, there is a pressing need for informative biophysical models. Here we assess dynamic causal models (DCM) of cortical network responses, as generative models of magnetoencephalographic observations during an auditory oddball rovin...
Preprint
Full-text available
To bridge the gap between preclinical cellular models of disease and in vivo imaging of human cognitive network dynamics, there is a pressing need for informative biophysical models. Here we assess dynamic causal models (DCM) of cortical network responses, inverted to magnetoencephalographic observations during an auditory oddball roving paradigm i...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cortical recordings of task-induced oscillations following subanaesthetic ketamine administration demonstrate alterations in amplitude, including increases at high-frequencies (gamma) and reductions at low frequencies (theta, alpha). To investigate the population-level interactions underlying these changes, we implemented a thalamo-cortical model (...
Preprint
The analysis of neural circuits can provide critical insights into the mechanisms of neurodegeneration and dementias, and offer potential quantitative biological tools to assess novel therapeutics. Here we use behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) as a model disease. We demonstrate that inversion of canonical microcircuit models to no...
Preprint
Full-text available
Fluctuations in gonadal hormones over the course of the menstrual cycle are known to cause functional brain changes and are thought to modulate changes in the balance of cortical excitation and inhibition. Animal research has shown this occurs primarily via the major metabolite of progesterone, allopregnanolone, and its action as a positive alloste...
Article
Full-text available
Fluctuations in gonadal hormones over the course of the menstrual cycle are known to cause functional brain changes and are thought to modulate changes in the balance of cortical excitation and inhibition. Animal research has shown this occurs primarily via the major metabolite of progesterone, allopregnanolone, and its action as a positive alloste...
Article
Unlabelled: Following the discovery of the antidepressant properties of ketamine, there has been a recent resurgence in the interest in this NMDA receptor antagonist. Although detailed animal models of the molecular mechanisms underlying ketamine's effects have emerged, there are few MEG/EEG studies examining the acute subanesthetic effects of ket...
Article
Full-text available
At subanaesthetic doses, ketamine, an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, has demonstrated remarkable and rapid antidepressant efficacy in patients with treatment-resistant depression. The mechanism of action of ketamine is complex and not fully understood, with altered glutamatergic function and alterations of high-frequency oscillato...
Article
Neuronal oscillations in the gamma frequency range play an important role in stimulus processing in the brain. The frequency of these oscillations can vary widely between participants and is strongly genetically determined, but the cause of this variability is not understood. Previous studies have reported correlations between individual difference...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography (MEG) studies have identified alterations in gamma-band (30-80 Hz) cortical activity in schizophrenia and mood disorders, consistent with neural models of disturbed glutamate (and GABA) neuron influence over cortical pyramidal cells. Genetic evidence suggests specific deficits in GABA-A...
Article
Background: Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) studies have consistently demonstrated reduced cortical γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) concentrations in individuals with major depression. However, evidence for a persistent deficit during remission, which would suggest that GABA dysfunction is a possible trait marker of depression, is equivocal. Alth...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
There are such studies for schizophrenia,
Refs would be particularly welcome.. thanks!

Projects

Project (1)
Project
A matlab toolbox for 3D brain rendering. I wanted to be able to render cortical surfaces in matlab & quickly see functional overlays and/or network data, without writing out data/files and opening in other software. SourceMesh is an ongoing project aimed at providing a one-line matlab command that can do all sorts of brain plots. https://github.com/alexandershaw4/SourceMesh