Monday, 12 September 2016


Dr. Duncan Sinclair:  NHMRC CJ Martin Early Career Fellow, NeuRA.

12 – 1 pm: 19 September,
Keats Room, Psychology.

Title: Using the senses to study brain disorders- an avenue to personalized treatment?

Sensory systems, such as audition and olfaction, can be leveraged powerfully and non-invasively to gain insight into brain function. In a disease context, this approach has been valuable for neurodevelopmental disorders such as Fragile X syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder and schizophrenia, all of which are characterized by abnormal behavioural responses to sensory stimuli. Interrogation of auditory sensory processing in these disorders (and their relevant rodent models) using electroencephalography (EEG) has shed light on underlying circuit dysfunction and its behavioural correlates. EEG measures such as auditory event-related potentials and neural oscillations have also been useful for evaluation of candidate drugs in preclinical studies, such as GABA-B agonists in the Fmr1 knockout mouse model of Fragile X syndrome. Promising findings from these studies have prompted the question “Could we plausibly use EEG to identify treatment-responsive clinical subtypes, or monitor treatment response?”

Brief Bio
Dr. Duncan Sinclair completed his PhD in 2012 with Professor Cyndi Shannon Weickert at Neuroscience Research Australia and the University of New South Wales. He then moved to the US to work as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, in the laboratories of Associate Professor Chang-Gyu Hahn and Professor Steven Siegel as part of an NHMRC CJ Martin Early Career Fellowship. After three and a half years, Duncan returned to Australia at the beginning of 2016, resuming his postdoctoral research in Cyndi's laboratory. Broadly speaking, his research has focused on understanding risk factors for psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, and how they exert their effects at the molecular, cellular and neural circuit levels.

Hosted by Dr. Lauren Harms, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Psychology.