I am a Software Engineer turned researcher in computational neuroscience. I joined the Systems Neuroscience Group in 2008 after completing a Bachelors degree in Psychology. I was awarded my PhD in 2013 and am now a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. See my homepage for details of my current projects.
Department of Mathematics
University of Pittsburgh
Mailroom 306 Thackeray Hall
139 University Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA.
PhD Computational Neuroscience (2013), BSc (hons) Psychology (2007), PG Dip. Psychology (2006), BSc (hons) Computer Science (1994), BSc Mathematical Sciences (1989).
I explored the role of spatial patterns of oscillatory neural activity in the motor cortex as a putative mechanism for the neural coding of movement. The thesis presents a computational model of the descending motor system driving muscle activity in a simulated biomechanical limb. It posits that motor commands may be encoded in the spatial morphology of beta-band oscillations in motor cortex. Furthermore, it demonstrates how the descending fibres (Betz cells) of the motor system can discriminate spatial patterns in motor cortex to selectively drive muscle activity. The model is unique in demonstrating a functional role for neural oscillations in motor cortex. The model also replicates the physiological changes in cortico-muscular coherence that are observed during human movement.
Heitmann, Stewart Allan (2013) Principles of encoding motor commands in travelling waves of neural oscillations. PhD thesis. School of Psychiatry. Faculty of Medicine. UNSW. (UNSW Library catalog) (pdf)
The following software is distributed freely under the terms of the GNU General Public License (version 3):
Cortical Oscillator Network Simulations for MATLAB. As described in Breakspear, Heitmann & Daffertshofer (2010); Heitmann, Gong & Breakpear (2012).
Biomechanical Limb Simulator for MATLAB. As described in Heitmann, Ferns & Breakspear (2012).