Somatosensory processing in the developing mammalian brain: regionalisation, specialisation and connectivity


The ability to distinguish touch and pain is essential for survival but little is known about how these senses are first processed in the human infant brain. This project focuses upon the functional maturation of cortical areas responsible for discriminating noxious events and creating the uniquely unpleasant quality of pain. The student will be gaining an interdisciplinary training in human neurophysiology, statistical modeling and data analysis and develop the skills to address fundamental questions about the emergence of functional cortical connections in the newborn human infant brain.


Fabrizi L, Slater R, Worley A, Meek J, Boyd S, Olhede S, Fitzgerald M. A shift in sensory processing that enables the developing human brain to discriminate touch from pain. Curr Biol. 2011 27;21(18):1552-8.


Fabrizi L, Williams G, Lee A, Meek J, Slater R, Olhede S, Fitzgerald M. Cortical activity evoked by an acute painful tissue-damaging stimulus in healthy adult volunteers. J Neurophysiol. 2013 May;109(9):2393-403.


S. C. Olhede and A. T.Walden. Polarization phase relationships via multiple morse wavelets. i. fundamentals. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 459:413-444, 2003.


J. M. Lilly and S. C. Olhede. Analysis of Modulated Multivariate Oscillations. IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, 60, 600–612, 2012

Biological Areas:



Genes, development and STEM approaches to biology