Haydn Farrelly

PhD student

Research Overview

Aberrant perceptual experiences are thought to be associated with a predisposition to fluctuations in neural activity in the cerebral cortex, known as cortical hyperexcitability. I'm interested in the extent to which cortical hyperexcitability can result in 'cross-talk' between areas of the cortex which process information from different senses. Currently I'm investigating whether this sensory crosstalk occurs between regions of the brain which are implicated in auditory and visual hallucinations.

Dr. Jason Braithwaite and myself conducted an Exploratory Factor Anaysis (with Parallel Analysis) to develop a questionnaire measuring predisposition to auditory and visual experiences associated with cortical hyperexcitability. We are now using this questionnaire alongside Optimised High Definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, a gold standard form of brain stimulation, to validate a novel multisensory paradigm for inducing hallucinations in the laboratory. My work is also supported by Dr. Helen Nuttall and members of the Neuroscience of Speech and Action (NoSA) laboratory.