Dr Megan Campbell

Dr Megan Campbell

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

School of Psychological Sciences

Career Summary

Biography

I recently took up my first postdoctoral position here in the Systems Neuroscience Group, Newcastle. This is a continuation of my slow migration south, having grown up in Far North Queensland where I completed a BPsychHons at JCU Cairns, before moving to Brisbane. There I enrolled in a Masters of Neuroscience at the Queensland Brain Institute fell head-over-heals for the field of cognitive neuroscience, and continued on to obtain my PhD in 2019 at UQ.

My research interests in neurosciences span cognitive, systems and computational perspectives on human brain function in both health and illness. My previous work focused on the overlapping sensorimotor processes underlying interpersonal interactions, within healthy adult cohorts. By using Bayesian models to explain behavioural and neural datasets I described mechanisms for the context-dependent modulation of automatic imitation responses, a feature of how humans prepare responses during interactions with others. Now my focus has shifted to applying this experience in functional neuroimaging, behavioural paradigms and computational approaches to social-emotional cognition and extending this to clinical populations. In particular, I aim to model dynamic brain networks involved in emotion in order to understand, differentiate and improve diagnosis of mood disorders. The other theme of my research is healthy ageing, where I am part of a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, surgeons, and researchers aiming to investigate modifiable risk factors for cognitive decline. My contribution to this work is focused on paradigm design, and fMRI data collection & analyses. 

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Psychology with Honours, James Cook University
  • Master of Neuroscience, University of Queensland

Keywords

  • Brain Imaging
  • Computational modelling
  • Experimental design
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychology

Languages

  • English (Mother)
  • French (Working)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
520406 Sensory processes, perception and performance 20
520203 Cognitive neuroscience 40
320904 Computational neuroscience (incl. mathematical neuroscience and theoretical neuroscience) 40

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Newcastle
School of Psychology
Australia

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/8/2018 - 1/8/2019 Lab Manager/ Research officer

Working under Dr Fatima Nasrallah on human imaging studies within her translational research group: translating preclinical rodent model work into humans to understand and prevent illness due to traumatic brain injury. 

The University of Queensland
The Queensland Brain Institute
Australia
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (8 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 Campbell MEJ, Nguyen VT, Cunnington R, Breakspear M, 'Insula cortex gates the interplay of action observation and preparation for controlled imitation.', Neuropsychologia, 161 108021 (2021)
DOI 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2021.108021
2019 Nasrallah FA, Mohamed AZ, Campbell MEJ, Yap HK, Yeow C-H, Lim JH, 'Functional connectivity of brain associated with passive range of motion exercise: Proprioceptive input promoting motor activation?', NEUROIMAGE, 202 (2019)
DOI 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116023
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2
2018 Campbell MEJ, Mehrkanoon S, Cunnington R, 'Intentionally not imitating: Insula cortex engaged for top-down control of action mirroring', Neuropsychologia, 111 241-251 (2018)

Perception and action are inextricably linked, down to the level of single cells which have both visual and motor response properties ¿ dubbed ¿mirror neurons¿. The mirror neuron ... [more]

Perception and action are inextricably linked, down to the level of single cells which have both visual and motor response properties ¿ dubbed ¿mirror neurons¿. The mirror neuron system is generally associated with direct-matching or resonance between observed and executed actions (and goals). Yet in everyday interactions responding to another's movements with matching actions (or goals) is not always appropriate. Here we examine processes associated with intentionally not imitating, as separable from merely detecting an observed action as mismatching one's own. Using fMRI, we test how matched and mismatched stimulus-response mapping for actions is modulated depending on task-relevance. Participants were either cued to intentionally copy or oppose a presented action (intentional imitation or counter-imitation), or cued to perform a predefined action regardless of the presented action (incidental imitation or counter-imitation). We found distinct cortical networks underlying imitation compared to counter-imitation, involving areas typically associated with an action observation network and widespread occipital activation. Intentionally counter-imitating particularly involved frontal-parietal networks, including the insula and cingulate cortices. This task-dependent recruitment of frontal networks for the intentional selection of opposing responses supports previous evidence for the preparatory suppression of imitative responses. Sensorimotor mirroring is modulated via control processes, which complex human interactions often require.

DOI 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.01.037
Citations Scopus - 13Web of Science - 9
2017 Campbell MEJ, Cunnington R, 'More than an imitation game: Top-down modulation of the human mirror system', Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 75 195-202 (2017)

All interpersonal interactions are underpinned by action: perceiving and understanding the actions of others, and responding by planning and performing self-made actions. Percepti... [more]

All interpersonal interactions are underpinned by action: perceiving and understanding the actions of others, and responding by planning and performing self-made actions. Perception of action, both self-made and observed, informs ongoing motor responses by iterative feedback within a perception-action loop. This fundamental phenomenon occurs within single-cells of the macaque brain which demonstrate sensory and motor response properties. These ¿mirror¿ neurons have led to a swathe of research leading to the broadly accepted idea of a human mirror system. The current review examines the putative human mirror system literature to highlight several inconsistencies in comparison to the seminal macaque data, and ongoing controversies within human focused research (including mirror neuron origin and function). In particular, we will address the often-neglected other side to the ¿mirror¿: complementary and opposing actions. We propose that engagement of the mirror system in meeting changing task-demands is dynamically modulated via frontal control networks.

DOI 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2017.01.035
Citations Scopus - 25Web of Science - 19
2015 Bednark JG, Campbell MEJ, Cunnington R, 'Basal ganglia and cortical networks for sequential ordering and rhythm of complex movements', Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9 1-13 (2015)

Voluntary actions require the concurrent engagement and coordinated control of complex temporal (e.g., rhythm) and ordinal motor processes. Using high-resolution functional magnet... [more]

Voluntary actions require the concurrent engagement and coordinated control of complex temporal (e.g., rhythm) and ordinal motor processes. Using high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA), we sought to determine the degree to which these complex motor processes are dissociable in basal ganglia and cortical networks. We employed three different finger-tapping tasks that differed in the demand on the sequential temporal rhythm or sequential ordering of submovements. Our results demonstrate that sequential rhythm and sequential order tasks were partially dissociable based on activation differences. The sequential rhythm task activated a widespread network centered around the supplementary motor area (SMA) and basal-ganglia regions including the dorsomedial putamen and caudate nucleus, while the sequential order task preferentially activated a fronto-parietal network. There was also extensive overlap between sequential rhythm and sequential order tasks, with both tasks commonly activating bilateral premotor, supplementary motor, and superior/inferior parietal cortical regions, as well as regions of the caudate/putamen of the basal ganglia and the ventro-lateral thalamus. Importantly, within the cortical regions that were active for both complex movements, MVPA could accurately classify different patterns of activation for the sequential rhythm and sequential order tasks. In the basal ganglia, however, overlapping activation for the sequential rhythm and sequential order tasks, which was found in classic motor circuits of the putamen and ventro-lateral thalamus, could not be accurately differentiated by MVPA. Overall, our results highlight the convergent architecture of the motor system, where complex motor information that is spatially distributed in the cortex converges into a more compact representation in the basal ganglia.

DOI 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00421
Citations Scopus - 15Web of Science - 16
2014 Kamke MR, Ryan AE, Sale MV, Campbell MEJ, Riek S, Carroll TJ, Mattingley JB, 'Visual spatial attention has opposite effects on bidirectional plasticity in the human motor cortex', Journal of Neuroscience, 34 1475-1480 (2014)

Long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) are key mechanisms of synaptic plasticity that are thought to act in concert to shape neural connections. Here we inves... [more]

Long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) are key mechanisms of synaptic plasticity that are thought to act in concert to shape neural connections. Here we investigated the influence of visual spatial attention on LTP-like and LTD-like plasticity in thehumanmotor cortex. Plasticity was induced using paired associative stimulation (PAS), which involves repeated pairing of peripheral nerve stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation to alter functional responses in the thumb area of the primary motor cortex. PAS-induced changes in cortical excitability were assessed using motor-evoked potentials. During plasticity induction, participants directed their attention to one of two visual stimulus streams located adjacent to each hand. When participants attended to visual stimuli located near the left thumb, which was targeted by PAS, LTP-like increases in excitability were significantly enhanced, and LTD-like decreases in excitability reduced, relative to when they attended instead to stimuli located near the right thumb. These differential effects on (bidirectional) LTP-like and LTD-like plasticity suggest that voluntary visual attention can exert an important influence on the functional organization of the motor cortex. Specifically, attention acts to both enhance the strengthening and suppress the weakening of neural connections representing events that fall within the focus of attention. © 2014 the authors.

DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1595-13.2014
Citations Scopus - 21Web of Science - 20
2014 Cottrell D, Campbell MEJ, 'Auditory perception of a human walker', Perception, 43 1225-1238 (2014)

When one hears footsteps in the hall, one is able to instantly recognise it as a person: this is an everyday example of auditory biological motion perception. Despite the familiar... [more]

When one hears footsteps in the hall, one is able to instantly recognise it as a person: this is an everyday example of auditory biological motion perception. Despite the familiarity of this experience, research into this phenomenon is in its infancy compared with visual biological motion perception. Here, two experiments explored sensitivity to, and recognition of, auditory stimuli of biological and nonbiological origin. We hypothesised that the cadence of a walker gives rise to a temporal pattern of impact sounds that facilitates the recognition of human motion from auditory stimuli alone. First a series of detection tasks compared sensitivity with three carefully matched impact sounds: footsteps, a ball bouncing, and drumbeats. Unexpectedly, participants were no more sensitive to footsteps than to impact sounds of nonbiological origin. In the second experiment participants made discriminations between pairs of the same stimuli, in a series of recognition tasks in which the temporal pattern of impact sounds was manipulated to be either that of a walker or the pattern more typical of the source event (a ball bouncing or a drumbeat). Under these conditions, there was evidence that both temporal and nontemporal cues were important in recognising theses stimuli. It is proposed that the interval between footsteps, which reflects a walker¿s cadence, is a cue for the recognition of the sounds of a human walking.

DOI 10.1068/p7669
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 3
Marc K, Alexander R, Martin S, Megan C, Stephan R, Timothy C, Jason M, 'Spatial Attention Influences Plasticity Induction in the Motor Cortex', Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9
DOI 10.3389/conf.fnhum.2015.217.00258
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 1
Total funding $94,000

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20211 grants / $94,000

The neurocognitive impact of cochlear implants in mid-later life: An advanced MRI study.$94,000

Funding body: Hunter Medical Research Institute

Funding body Hunter Medical Research Institute
Project Team Professor Michael Breakspear, Doctor Megan Campbell, Dr Robert Eisenberg, Ms Caroline Faucher, Doctor Renate Thienel
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2021
Funding Finish 2022
GNo G2101090
Type Of Funding C3300 – Aust Philanthropy
Category 3300
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed0
Current1

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2020 PhD Bayesian Modelling of Task-Specific Neuroimaging Data to Identify how Aberrant Predictive Parameters Lead to the Positive and Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia PhD (Psychology - Science), College of Engineering, Science and Environment, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
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Dr Megan Campbell

Position

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
School of Psychological Sciences
College of Engineering, Science and Environment

Contact Details

Email megan.campbell@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4042 0190

Office

Building HMRI Imaging Centre.
Location Hunter Medical Research Institute

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