Dr Claire Bradley

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Queensland Brain Institute
claire.bradley@uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 66326

Overview

Brain plasticity refers to the ability of the brain to undergo change in response to various life events, training, learning or simple external stimulation. Recently, non-invasive brain stimulation tools have been developed that allow manipulation of brain plasticity. I am using these techniques (transcranial alternating current stimulation, tACS and transcranial magnetic stimulation, TMS) to try to boost plasticity, especially in the elderly brain, where it may be diminished. I also combine these tools with brain imaging to understand how different parts of the brain contribute to our ability to focus our attention, with the goal of boosting attention via brain stimulation.

Research Interests

  • Mapping and modulating attention in the human brain
    The ability to focus our attention over space, time, or object features is controlled by a network of brain regions. I am interested in using brain stimulation in combination with recordings of electrical brain activity to probe the state of these brain regions during attentional deployment. Understanding these latent states better may help us tailor our tools to modulate brain activity and attentional control, with possible implications for rehabilitation in brain-injured patients. This NHMRC-funded project is being led by Prof. Jason Mattingley, in collaboration with Prof. Paul Dux at the University of Queensland, and with Dr. Nigel Rogash (Monash University) and Prof. Hartwig Siebner (Copenhagen University Hospital).
  • Boosting neuroplasticity using brain stimulation in elderly people
    Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change in response to its environment. It is a key mechanism behind learning and memory and it is known to decline with age. Given that sleep is crucial to memory function, and that sleep quality usually decreases with age, I am interested in using brain stimulation to mimick the effects of sleep in awake, elderly people in the hope of increasing neuroplasticity. This project, headed by Dr. Martin Sale and Prof. Jason Mattingley, has potential implications for rehabilitation following brain injury or sleep disorders, but is currently explored in healthy, pathology-free individuals.
  • Pain and brain stimulation
    Stimulation of the motor cortex can alleviate pain in chronic neuropathic pain patients, but the mechanisms sub-tending this effect are still debated. I have used brain activity recordings to understand the effects of brain stimulation on pain perception. I am interested in finding new targets for non-invasive brain stimulation that would allow modulation of pain perception - I am currently focusing on a region known as the insula.

Qualifications

  • Docotor of Philosophy (PhD in Neuroscience), UCBL

Publications

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Publications

Journal Article