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Personal profile

Biography

I completed a PhD in Neuroscience (2009) with eminent Australian neurobiologist Jack Pettigrew (FRS). My research employed caloric vestibular stimulation (CVS) — a simple, non-invasive (unihemispheric) brain stimulation technique — to demonstrate evidence for a novel neural mechanism of visual rivalry: the interhemispheric switch model.

I was awarded an NHMRC postdoctoral clinical research fellowship to continue investigating rivalry mechanisms and abnormalities in psychiatric groups. From 2010–2015 I was project coordinator and technology lead for this work at Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre. My fellowship studies also examined CVS as a potential therapeutic intervention in persistent (chronic) pain disorders.

I am continuing this body of work with the following research projects:

[A]  Testing and validating novel visual task measures for identifying individuals at increased risk of developing mental illness (e.g., young people, at-risk/early psychosis cohorts).

[B]  Effectiveness of non-invasive repeated vestibulocortical stimulation (rVCS) protocols as a treatment for psychiatric and neurological illnesses (e.g., depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia, epilepsy, persistent pain).

[C]  Development of autonomic activity recording devices with real-time analysis output of endogenous rhythms and their clinical (diagnostic) utility in psychiatry, neurology and sleep medicine  |  #PrecisionSwitchMedicine

[D]  Phylogenetics and evolution of bistable switching — from bacterial chemotaxis and fruit fly optomotor responses to binary decision-making in mammals (e.g., approach/avoidance choice behaviour) and disordered mood/cognitive states in humans (e.g., mania/depression, denial/insight).

Related Links:

Research interests

Research/Industry/NGO/Philanthropic Collaboration Interests and Honours/Masters/PhD/DPsych/DBiotech/MBBS/MD Projects:

Minimal phenotyping: Perceptual and cognitive testing
Multi-platform development of candidate diagnostic/endophenotype perceptual and cognitive task measures for large-scale user-friendly testing in genotyped and at-risk/youth cohorts (e.g., web, mobile, tablet, gaming, virtual reality).

Vestibulocortical stimulation: Applications and mechanisms
Clinical applications of non-invasive repeated vestibulocortical stimulation (#rVCS) — and the genetics and neuroimaging of its therapeutic response — with the aim of elucidating novel electroceutical pathways, response biomarkers and personalised treatment protocols across a spectrum psychiatric and neurological disorders ('electroceutomics').

Biomedical device & software development
Development of portable/wearable devices with integrated software applications for (i) perceptual rivalry viewing (e.g., stereoscopic 3D displays), data collection and analyses; (ii) probing IHS rhythms (e.g., autonomic respiratory/nasal cycle periodicity); and (iii) inducing, recording and real-time analysis output of vestibulocortical stimulation.

Phylogenetics & evolution of bistable switching and the vestibular system
Investigating the comparative genetics, neural network dynamics (e.g., vestibulocortical circuitry) and molecular mechanisms of bistable (anti-phase) interhemispheric oscillations — which have been observed across a range of phenotypes (e.g., biological rhythms, autonomic functions, oculomotor activity, perception/attention, cognitive/behaviour changes) and in different species (e.g., Drosophila, sandlance, birds, cetaceans, rodents, humans).

Scientometrics and research outcome measures
Developing quantitative indicators of interdisciplinary conceptual and empirical synthesis, scientific impact and translational outcomes using machine learning (A.I.) and large-scale data analysis algorithms.

Education/Academic qualification

Neuroscience, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), The University of Queensland

External positions

Honorary Fellow, Translational Research Institute Australia (TRI)

1 Sep 2016 → …

Affiliate, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

3 Jun 201629 Aug 2017

Research Impacts & Output Team, Scholarly Communication & Repository Services, Learning & Research Services, UQ Library, The University of Queensland

9 May 2016 → …

Research area keywords

  • repeated vestibulocortical stimulation (rVCS)
  • phylogenetics of bistable switching (binary decision-making / choice behaviour)
  • perceptual & autonomic neurobiology
  • brain disorders
  • device technology development (minimal phenotyping)
  • chronobiology
  • history of science & technology
  • Precision Switch Medicine
  • Evolutionary neurogenomics
  • Precision Pain Medicine
  • Precision Sleep Medicine

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2009 2016

Research Output 2000 2018

  • 10 Article
  • 7 Review Article
  • 2 Chapter (Book)
  • 1 Meeting Abstract
Open Access
File

An update on adjunctive treatment options for bipolar disorder

Dean, O., Gliddon, E., Van Rheenen, T. E., Giorlando, F., Davidson, S. K., Kaur, M., Ngo, T. & Williams, L. J., Mar 2018, In : Bipolar Disorders. 20, 2, p. 87-96 10 p., 12601.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

Open Access
File

Evidence that eye-movement profiles do not explain slow binocular rivalry rate in bipolar disorder: Support for a perceptual endophenotype

Law, P. CF., Gurvich, C. T., Ngo, T. T. & Miller, S. M., Sep 2017, In : Bipolar Disorders. 19, 6, p. 465-476 12 p., BDI12515.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

The effect of stimulus strength on binocular rivalry rate in healthy individuals: Implications for genetic, clinical and individual differences studies

Law, P. C. F., Miller, S. M. & Ngo, T. T., 1 Nov 2017, In : Physiology and Behavior. 181, p. 127-136 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Bedside neuromodulation of persistent pain and allodynia using caloric vestibular stimulation: An effectiveness trial

Ngo, T. T., Barsdell, W. N., Arnold, C. A., Chou, M. J., New, P. W., Hill, S. T., Nunn, A. K., Brown, D. J., Gibson, S. J. & Miller, S. M., 15 Oct 2015, In : Journal of the Neurological Sciences. 357, p. e91-e91 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractOther