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Brain dynamics

Understanding the human brain
Our research aims to understand the connections between physiology and stimuli, on one hand, and resulting brain activity and experimental data, on the other.

Our research

The Brain Dynamics group is an interdisciplinary team with backgrounds in physics, engineering, mathematics, IT, psychology, physiology, medicine, and other areas. Its aim is to understand the connections between physiology and stimuli, on one hand, and resulting brain activity and experimental data, on the other.

To achieve these aims, we develop and apply physiologically-based models of brain activity, and subsequent measurement processes. The work currently focuses particularly on the brainstem-thalamus-cortex system, and on electrophysiological and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measurements. We also develop and implement nonlinear and wavelet-based signal analysis techniques.

Successful applications have been made to a wide range of data to test and verify the theoretical work. We have also established that our techniques enable underlying physiological parameters to be inferred from the data via inverse modeling. This has been the basis for commercial interactions to develop tools for improved analysis of brain function data. A range of laboratory and preclinical applications are also under way.

The group works closely with a range of collaborators, both inside and outside the University of Sydney. In particular, we have close links to the brain databasing efforts at the Brain Dynamics Center of Westmead Hospital (of which we are a node) and the Brain Resource Company (which was spun off in 2001, partly incorporating inputs by us). 

This group is part of the COE centre for integrative brain function CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity.

Our research areas include:

Our software

The complex systems group has developed several software tools for the wider neuroscience community.

  • SleepSim - User friendly sleep simulation software.
  • Neurofield - Numerical integration of neural field equations (in progress).
  • stimBOLD- The visual stimulus to BOLD simulator.

Visit to view and download the latest code from our publicly available repositories.

For collaborators and internal users only: Access to our internal repositories is available by special request. To obtain access, please create a GitHub account at and then send us a request for access (including your GitHub username).

The Brain Dynamics group photo

Members of the Brain dynamics group. Front row (L to R) Farah Deeba, Somwrita Sarkar, Paula Sanz-Leon, Grishma Pandejee, Yuxi Liu, Mariya Ferdousi, Kamrun Mukta, Nipa Roy, MS Zobaer. Back row (L to R) Yifan Gu, Pulin Gong, Daniel Naomenko, Brandon Munn, Thomas Lacy, Eli Muller, James Pang, James MacLaurin, Bernard Pailthorpe, Dongping Yang, Yanmei Kang, Cindy Guy, Adam Keane

Our team

  • Dr Andrew Barton
  • Dr Jonathan Clearwater
  • Dr Peter Drysdale
  • Dr Felix Fung
  • Dr Richard Gray
  • Dr Peter Loxley
  • Dr John Palmer
  • Dr Andrew Phillips
  • Dr Chris Rennie
  • Dr James Roberts
  • Dr Sascha van Albada
  • Dr Xuelong Zhao