Computational and Systems Neuroscience

Creating new techniques to understand the brain

The Computational and Systems Neuroscience group is co-located at Monash Biomedical Imaging (MBI) and the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health.

Led by Associate Professor Adeel Razi (pictured right), the interdisciplinary team uses the latest MBI imaging technologies for their investigations in collaboration with a large network of national and international partners.

They use advanced computational and theoretical tools borrowed from dynamical systems theory, signal processing, and machine learning to develop new techniques to understand how the brain is organised.

Researching how the brain processes information

Research within this group is geared towards developing new Dynamic Causal Models that can explain how the brain’s measured data is caused. These generative models are used to gain mechanistic insights about how the brain is functionally organised. In other words, these generative models are used to:

  1. Understand how different parts of the brain are connected with each other to process information in health.
  2. Characterise brain dysfunction in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Research Fellow Leonardo Novelli is currently working on developing new Dynamic Causal Modelling (DCM). He has previously worked on improving and testing multivariate transfer entropy algorithms for network inference from time series.

The group is also exploring how the brain processes information when under the influence of hallucinogens.Read ‘Trippy tech explores brain power under LSD’ for more information.


Neural mechanisms of psilocybin-induced altered states of consciousness

Psilocybin is quickly becoming a promising treatment for mental illness and is being studied widely due to its profound consciousness-altering properties. We want to better understand (1) how the consciousness-altering properties of psilocybin affect the brain and, (2) how contextual factors, such as mindset and environmental setting can impact the psilocybin experience.

The lab is now recruiting healthy adults ages between 18-55 years to participate in the study. Fo more information about the project and participating, visit the  PSICONNECT Project.

PhD research

PhD candidate Devon Stoliker is using mind altering drugs to understand the neural basis of consciousness. For his PhD research he is using brain imaging and computational modelling to understand subjective effects of classic psychedelics such as ego dissolution and the unitive experience.

Paul Aswin is a PhD student enrolled in the IITB-Monash Academy in India. His research interest is in obtaining a novel synthesis of the laws governing emergence of an arrow of sophistication in nature, and a better understanding of the resulting biological self-organisation.

Computational and Systems Neuroscience team

Associate Professor Adeel Razi PhD
Head, Computational and Systems Neuroscience

Leonardo Novelli PhD
Research Fellow 

Devon Stoiker
PhD candidate

Paul Aswin
PhD candidate

Lingbin Bian
PhD Candidate