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Michael Breakspear


I am interested in the basic principles of large-scale brain dynamics, how these arise from (and reshape) cortical architectures, and how they underpin cognitive operations, such as perception, inference and motor control.

As a psychiatrist, I also aim to contribute to our understanding of major mental illnesses such as mood disorders, schizophrenia, autism and dementia. These contribute strongly to the burden of illness in all societies and cause significant distress to those affected.

To advance our understanding of these disorders requires new neuroscience techniques. This is why we focus on these techniques in our group, as well as their applications.

I am Group Leader of the Systems Neuroscience Group at Hunter Medical Research Institute.

Selected Papers:

  • Gollo LL, Roberts JA, Cropley VL, Di Biase MA, Pantelis C, Zalesky A, Breakspear M (2018) Fragility and volatility of structural hubs in the human connectome. Nature Neuroscience 21: 1107-1116.

  • Breakspear M (2017). Dynamic models of large-scale brain activity. Nature Neuroscience20, 340-352.
  • Breakspear M, Roberts G, ..., Mitchell PB (2016) Network dysfunction of emotional and cognitive processes in those at genetic risk of bipolar disorder. Brain 1383427-3439.
  • Iyer KK, Roberts JA, ... , Vanhatalo S, Breakspear M (2015) Cortical burst dynamics predict clinical outcome early in extremely preterm infants. Brain doi:10.1093/brain/awv129.
  • Roberts G/Perry A, Lord A, ..., Mitchell PB, Breakspear M (2016). Structural dysconnectivity of key cognitive and emotional hubs in young people at high genetic risk for bipolar disorder. Molecular Psychiatry. doi: 10.1038/mp.2016.216.
    • Zalesky A, Fornito A, Cocci L, Gollo LL, Breakspear M (2014) Time-resolved resting-state brain networks. PNAS doi/10.1073/pnas.140018111                                                                   
    ah hoy silver surfer ...

                                                       Presenting our work at the The Institut de Neurosciences des Systèmes (Marseilles)                                                                 Surfing at the "Maroubra Campus" 
                                                                                               (thank you to Vik Jirsa and Patrick Chauvel)