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I am a PhD candidate investigating the brain's sensitivity to pain at the UNSW school of Medical Sciences. Based at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) I work under the supervision of Siobhan Schabrun, David Seminowicz, and Alan Chiang. My current work employs Neurophysiological techniques and other non-invasive methods to modulate the brain's sensitivity to pain as well as predicting future sensitivity to pain.
October 2019 - December 2019
- Research Assistant
- Hired to conduct EEG analysis on a chronic itch patient dataset and to mentor a Masters student in MATLAB EEG preprocessing and analysis. Manuscript currently in progress.
February 2019 - August 2019
- Research Intern
- I worked in Dr. Ali Mazaheri's Cognitive Neurophysiology lab. For the research project I worked with the 'University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust' predicting patients' sensitivity to post-operative pain using cEEGrids to measure EEG.
September 2018 - January 2019
- Research Intern
- I completed a literature review project on the topic of Cancer Pain in Intellectual Disabilities, which led to a first author publication: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2019.07.013
Context: Owing to life expectancy improvements for people with intellectual disabilities, their risk of developing cancer is increasing. Pain is an inevitable aspect of cancerous diseases. However, as pain experience and expression can be atypical in people with intellectual disabilities, this population is vulnerable to late diagnosis of cancer a...
Introduction: Temporomandibular disorder is a common musculoskeletal pain condition with development of chronic symptoms in 49% of patients. Although a number of biological factors have shown an association with chronic temporomandibular disorder in cross-sectional and case control studies, there are currently no biomarkers that can predict the de...
Reward uncertainty can prompt exploration and learning, strengthening approach and consummatory behaviors. For humans, these phenomena are exploited in marketing promotions and gambling products, sometimes spurring hedonic consumption. Here, in four experiments, we sought to identify whether reward uncertainty-as a state of "not knowing" that exist...
A large proportion of patients with burn injuries develop chronic itch, which impacts quality of life. The underlying pathophysiological mechanisms are poorly understood. This cross-sectional pilot study investigates whether altered cortical oscillatory processes are involved in chronic post-burn itch. Continuous electroencephalography (EEG) data w...
Objective It remains unclear to what extent Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation-evoked potentials (TEPs) reflect sensory (auditory and somatosensory) potentials as opposed to cortical excitability. The present study aimed to determine; a) the extent to which sensory potentials contaminate TEPs using a spatially-matched sham condition, and b) whether...
Pain alters motor function. This is supported by studies showing reduced corticomotor excitability in response to experimental pain lasting <90 minutes. Whether similar reductions in corticomotor excitability are present with pain of longer durations or whether alterations in corticomotor excitability are associated with pain severity is unknown. H...
Many pain biomarkers fail to move from discovery to clinical application, attributed to poor reliability and feasible classifications of at-risk individuals. Preliminary evidence has shown that higher pain sensitivity is associated with slow peak alpha frequency (PAF) and depression of corticomotor excitability (CME). The present study evaluated th...
Aims and Objectives: Experimental models of neuropathic pain suggest that individual peak alpha frequency (PAF), measured using electroencephalography (EEG), can predict future pain sensitivity in experimental settings. Here, we tested whether PAF could predict future pain severity in a clinical setting in patients undergoing thoracotomy. Methods:...
Background: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) evoked potentials (TEPs) can be used to index cortical excitability. However, it remains unclear to what extent TEPs reflect somatosensory and auditory-evoked potentials which arise from the scalp sensation and click of the TMS coil, as opposed to transcranial stimulation of cortical circuits. O...
Introduction: The primary motor cortex (M1) is a key brain region implicated in pain processing. Here, we present a protocol for a review that aims to synthesise and critically appraise the evidence for the effect of experimentalpain on M1 function. Methods/Analysis: A systematic review and meta-analysis will be conducted. Electronic databases will...
Introduction: Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a common musculoskeletal pain condition with development of chronic symptoms in 49% of patients. Although a number of biological factors have shown an association with chronic TMD in cross-sectional and case control studies, there are currently no biomarkers that can predict the development of chron...
Temporal expectations (e.g., predicting "when") facilitate sensory processing, and are suggested to rely on entrainment of low frequency neural oscillations to regular rhythmic input. However, temporal expectations can be formed not only in response to a regular beat, such as in music ("beat-based" expectations), but also based on a predictable pat...
The nature of the association between Electronic Gambling Machines (EGMs) and gambling problems remains uncertain. Eye-tracking offers a potentially powerful method to understand how individuals attend to the visual displays and features of machine games as a function of machine experience, use of other commercial gambling products, the degree to w...
I am currently conducting oscillatory EEG analysis comparing the resting state activity, as well as itch and pain perception, of patients with chronic itch due to severe burn injury with healthy controls.
Determine whether EEG peak alpha frequency can be used to predict acute and chronic post-operative pain in patients undergoing a lung cancer operation.
Investigate rhythm perception and temporal expectations using behavioural and EEG methods. With the research question of whether entrainment of internal oscillations to external input is the neural mechanism behind memory-based and beat-based expectations.