Dr Ilvana Dzafic

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Queensland Brain Institute
i.dzafic@uq.edu.au
0401 004713

Overview

I am a cognitive neuroscientist using neuroimaging techniques to study social cognition and regularity learning in the healthy population and in schizophrenia. This research is driven by the ideas behind 'predictive coding', a theoretical framework for how the brain continually generates and updates predictive models of the world based on prior expectations and sensory experience. I also have an interest in imaging genetics, using the polygenic risk model.

Research Interests

  • Human neuroimaging of perception
    My research applies human neuroimaging methods, such as Electroencephalography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the study of perception in healthy individuals and people with clinical disorders, such as schizophrenia. I am also interested to investigate the interaction between brain and genes using the polygenic risk model.
  • Computational modelling of brain and behaviour in psychosis
    In my research I employ modelling techniques, such as Dynamic Causal Modelling, to investigate the neural dynamics underlying psychotic experiences. I am also interested in investigating behaviour in people with psychosis using the Hierarchical Gaussian Filter. These techniques are based on the Predictive Coding model of the brain as an inference machine, which continually generates and updates predictive models of the world based on prior expectations and sensory experience.
  • Regularity learning in psychosis
    I am interested in how humans learn the statistics of their environment to form internal models about the world. Particularly I am interested in why regularity learning is impaired in schizophrenia, rendering their environment chaotic and surprising, and if impaired regularity learning leads to aberrant beliefs and precepts in psychosis.
  • Social cognition in schizophrenia
    People with schizophrenia have impaired social cognition, which is robustly associated with functional outcome. Social cognition involves interpreting the intentions and dispositions of others and using this knowledge to guide behaviour in social interactions. In my research, I am interested in the cognitive and brain processes that underlie social cognitive impairment in schizophrenia.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Psychology with Honours Class 2A, The University of Queensland

Publications

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Supervision

  • Master Philosophy

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Publications

Journal Article

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors: