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Dr Alexander Shaw

Dr Alexander Shaw

Senior Lecturer, Co-Director of Business Engagement and Innovation

 Washington Singer 

 

Washington Singer Laboratories, University of Exeter, Perry Road, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4QG, UK

 Office hours:

Monday from 12:30 at Washington Singer Laboratories, room 100.

Overview

I'm an academic in the Department of Psychology at Exeter. My background training and research spans neurobiology, computational, imaging and theoretical neurosciences, psychiatry and psychedelics.

My research focuses on understanding the pathophysiology of psychiatric diseases through the use of multimodal imaging techniques such as M/EEG, MRI, and PET, using pharmaco-imaging, psychedelic and anaesthetic drugs, machine learning, and computational modelling.

In practical terms, my work involves two main areas. Firstly, I conduct “pharmaco-M/EEG” studies that examine the effects of drugs - mostly psychedelics and anaesthetics - on neuronal function in people living with psychiatric disease. Secondly, I work on developing neurophysiologically-inspired generative models of the brain using mathematical optimization routines that estimate synaptic connectivity parameters based on imaging data. This area draws heavily on principals from theoretical AI and dynamical systems theory.

I believe that this multi-scale and multi-modal approach is the key to developing new and effective treatments for psychiatry.

Besides research, I am also co-director of Business Enagagement and Innovation, MRI liaison and a personal tutor. I also host UG, PGT & PGR in my group.

Alongside Wellcome and MRC funding, I hold some industry collaborations across biotech, medtech and drinks industries.

Computational Psychiatry & Neuropharmacological Systems Lab (CPNS Lab - here.

We currently have several job opportunities in the group! See below.

1) We are currently advertising for a postdoc (Research Associate) in computational neuroscience (Nov 2023):
https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/DEJ381/graduate-research-assistant-postdoctoral-research-associate

 

There are currently TWO fully funded PhD studentship available in the group (2023):

2) As part of the MRC programme grant, CONVERGE in collaboration with Cardiff, Bristol and UCL:

https://gw4biomed.ac.uk/developing-computational-models-of-psychosis-to-explore-the-impact-of-schizophrenia-associated-cnvs-on-cortical-microcircuitry/

3) And one in collaboration with Caroyln McNabb in Cardiff, using advanced neuroimaging, MEG and modelling to look at the pathophysiology of Schizophrenia (2023):

https://gw4biomed.ac.uk/a-multimodal-investigation-of-brain-structure-and-function-in-schizophrenia/

 

We will soon be recuiting further PhD and postdoctoral team mates!

 

Links

Research group links

Research

Research interests

My research focuses on understanding the pathophysiology of psychiatric diseases through the use of multimodal imaging techniques such as M/EEG, MRI, and PET, using pharmaco-imaging, psychedelic and anaesthetic drugs, machine learning, and computational modelling.

In practical terms, my work involves two main areas. Firstly, I conduct “pharmaco-M/EEG” studies that examine the effects of drugs - mostly psychedelics and anaesthetics - on neuronal function in people living with psychiatric disease. Secondly, I work on developing neurophysiologically-inspired generative models of the brain using mathematical optimization routines that estimate synaptic connectivity parameters based on imaging data. This area draws heavily on principals from theoretical AI and dynamical systems theory.

Research projects

I work on a number of projects across computational psychiatry, including clinical neuroimaging (M/EEG, MRI, PET), neuropharmacology and computational neuroscience.

Example projects we're currently working on:

  • The Sleep Detectives: Sleep stratification in young people at high risk of psychosis [Wellcome] (with Prof Matt Jones, Bristol et al).
  • EEG study examining changes in synaptic plasticity and oscillations in gambling addicts before and after ketamine administration (with Prof Celia Morgan and PARC).  https://psychology.exeter.ac.uk/bamstudy/
  • Parameter estimation and identifiability in neural masses (with Dr Marc Goodfellow and Alessia Caccamo)
  • Modelling thalamo-cortical dynamics under psychedelics (Joy Krecke).
  • Modelling fronto-pareital networks as targets of ketamine therapy in acute depression (with Drs Rachael Sumner, Suresh Muthukumaraswamy in Auckland).
  • Reconciling neuronal circuits, symptomology and the free energy principcal in psychosis.
  • CONVERGE: Developing computational models of psychosis to explore the impact of schizophrenia-associated CNVs on cortical microcircuitry [MRC] (with Profs Jeremy Hall, Krish Singh, Marianne van den Bree, Cardiff & Prof Matt Jones, Bristol & Prof Karl Friston, UCL).
  • Using EEG and neuronal modelling to in-silico assay GABAergic receptor dynamics under alcohol and an alcohol-like botanical GABA drink.

Research networks

I work with a number of collaborators in Exeter, across the UK and the world.

UK:

  • Prof Celia Morgan, Exeter Psychology
  • Dr Marc Goodfellow, Exeter Maths
  • Prof Krish Singh, CUBRIC Cardiff
  • Prof Matt Jones, Bristol Neuroscience
  • Prof Jeremy Hall, Cardiff Medicine
  • Prof Rosalyn Moran, KCL
  • Prof David Nutt, Imperial
  • Dr Meg Spriggs, Imperial
  • Prof James Rowe, Cambridge
  • Prof Karl Friston, UCL

International:

  • Dr Rachael Sumner, Auckland
  • A Prof Suresh Muthukumaraswamy, Auckland

Research grants

  • 2022 Wellcome Trust
    Improving Cognitive and Functional Outcomes in People Experiencing, or at Risk of Psychosis. £1M.
  • 2022 GABALabs
    Industry match funding from GABALabs
  • 2021 MRC
    Convergent endophenotypes derived from psychiatric genetics. £3.5M.
  • 0 BBSRC
    Our vision is to form a new partnership across mathematics and psychology to significantly advance the mathematical and computational tools that are available to understand the brain dynamics of cognition. £200k.

Links


Publications

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Key publications


Adams NE, Hughes LE, Rouse MA, Phillips HN, Shaw AD, Murley AG, Cope TE, Bevan-Jones WR, Passamonti L, Street D, et al (2021). GABAergic cortical network physiology in frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Brain, 144(7), 2135-2145. Abstract.
Sumner RL, Spriggs MJ, Shaw AD (2021). Modelling thalamocortical circuitry shows that visually induced LTP changes laminar connectivity in human visual cortex. PLOS Computational Biology, 17(1), e1008414-e1008414. Abstract.
Adams NE, Hughes LE, Phillips HN, Shaw AD, Murley AG, Nesbitt D, Cope TE, Bevan-Jones WR, Passamonti L, Rowe JB, et al (2020). GABA-ergic Dynamics in Human Frontotemporal Networks Confirmed by Pharmaco-Magnetoencephalography. The Journal of Neuroscience, 40(8), 1640-1649. Abstract.
Shaw AD, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Saxena N, Sumner RL, Adams NE, Moran RJ, Singh KD (2020). Generative modelling of the thalamo-cortical circuit mechanisms underlying the neurophysiological effects of ketamine. NeuroImage, 221, 117189-117189.
Shaw AD, Hughes LE, Moran R, Coyle-Gilchrist I, Rittman T, Rowe JB (2019). In Vivo Assay of Cortical Microcircuitry in Frontotemporal Dementia: a Platform for Experimental Medicine Studies. Cerebral Cortex, 31(3), 1837-1847. Abstract.
Shaw AD, Knight L, Freeman TCA, Williams GM, Moran RJ, Friston KJ, Walters JTR, Singh KD (2019). Oscillatory, Computational, and Behavioral Evidence for Impaired GABAergic Inhibition in Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin

Publications by category


Journal articles

Murphy RJ, Godfrey K, Shaw AD, Muthukumaraswamy S, Sumner RL (2024). Modulation of long-term potentiation following microdoses of LSD captured by thalamo-cortical modelling in a randomised, controlled trial. BMC Neuroscience, 25(1). Abstract.
Stone E, Alshakhouri M, Shaw A, Muthukumaraswamy S, Sumner RL (2023). Changes in Visual Long-Term Potentiation Show Preserved Cyclicity in Human Females Taking Combined Oral Contraceptives. Neuroendocrinology, 113(8), 859-874. Abstract.
Adams NE, Jafarian A, Perry A, Rouse MA, Shaw AD, Murley AG, Cope TE, Bevan-Jones WR, Passamonti L, Street D, et al (2023). Neurophysiological consequences of synapse loss in progressive supranuclear palsy. Brain, 146(6), 2584-2594. Abstract.  Author URL.
Saxena N, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Richmond L, Babic A, Singh KD, Hall JE, Wise RG, Shaw AD (2021). A comparison of GABA-ergic (propofol) and non-GABA-ergic (dexmedetomidine) sedation on visual and motor cortical oscillations, using magnetoencephalography. Neuroimage, 245 Abstract.  Author URL.
Egerton A, Murphy A, Donocik J, Anton A, Barker GJ, Collier T, Deakin B, Drake R, Eliasson E, Emsley R, et al (2021). Dopamine and Glutamate in Antipsychotic-Responsive Compared with Antipsychotic-Nonresponsive Psychosis: a Multicenter Positron Emission Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Study (STRATA). Schizophr Bull, 47(2), 505-516. Abstract.  Author URL.
Adams NE, Hughes LE, Rouse MA, Phillips HN, Shaw AD, Murley AG, Cope TE, Bevan-Jones WR, Passamonti L, Street D, et al (2021). GABAergic cortical network physiology in frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Brain, 144(7), 2135-2145. Abstract.
Sumner RL, Spriggs MJ, Shaw AD (2021). Modelling thalamocortical circuitry shows that visually induced LTP changes laminar connectivity in human visual cortex. PLOS Computational Biology, 17(1), e1008414-e1008414. Abstract.
Shaw AD, Chandler HL, Hamandi K, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Hammers A, Singh KD (2021). Tiagabine induced modulation of oscillatory connectivity and activity match PET-derived, canonical GABA-A receptor distributions. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 50, 34-45.
Saxena N, Shaw AD, Richmond L, Babic A, Singh KD, Hall JE, Wise RG, Muthukumaraswamy SD (2020). A comparison of GABA-ergic (propofol) and non-GABA-ergic (dexmedetomidine) sedation on visual and motor cortical oscillations, using magnetoencephalography.  Abstract.
Adams NE, Hughes LE, Phillips HN, Shaw AD, Murley AG, Nesbitt D, Cope TE, Bevan-Jones WR, Passamonti L, Rowe JB, et al (2020). GABA-ergic Dynamics in Human Frontotemporal Networks Confirmed by Pharmaco-Magnetoencephalography. The Journal of Neuroscience, 40(8), 1640-1649. Abstract.
Shaw AD, Chandler HL, Hamandi K, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Hammers A, Singh KD (2020). GABA<sub>A</sub> receptor mapping in human using non-invasive electrophysiology.  Abstract.
Shaw AD, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Saxena N, Sumner RL, Adams NE, Moran RJ, Singh KD (2020). Generative modelling of the thalamo-cortical circuit mechanisms underlying the neurophysiological effects of ketamine. NeuroImage, 221, 117189-117189.
Routley B, Shaw A, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Singh KD, Hamandi K (2020). Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy shows increased posterior theta, and reduced sensorimotor beta resting connectivity. Epilepsy Research, 163, 106324-106324.
Sumner RL, Spriggs MJ, Shaw AD (2020). Modelling thalamocortical circuitry shows visually induced LTP changes laminar connectivity in human visual cortex.  Abstract.
Shaw AD, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Saxena N, Sumner RL, Adams N, Moran RJ, Singh KD (2019). Generative modelling of the thalamo-cortical circuit mechanisms underlying the neurophysiological effects of ketamine.  Abstract.
Shaw AD, Hughes LE, Moran R, Coyle-Gilchrist I, Rittman T, Rowe JB (2019). In Vivo Assay of Cortical Microcircuitry in Frontotemporal Dementia: a Platform for Experimental Medicine Studies. Cerebral Cortex, 31(3), 1837-1847. Abstract.
Shaw AD, Knight L, Freeman TCA, Williams GM, Moran RJ, Friston KJ, Walters JTR, Singh KD (2019). Oscillatory, Computational, and Behavioral Evidence for Impaired GABAergic Inhibition in Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin
Sumner RL, McMillan RL, Shaw AD, Singh KD, Sundram F, Muthukumaraswamy SD (2018). Peak visual gamma frequency is modified across the healthy menstrual cycle. Human Brain Mapping, 39(8), 3187-3202. Abstract.
Shaw AD, Moran RJ, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Brealy J, Linden DE, Friston KJ, Singh KD (2017). Neurophysiologically-informed markers of individual variability and pharmacological manipulation of human cortical gamma. NeuroImage, 161, 19-31.
Muthukumaraswamy SD, Shaw AD, Jackson LE, Hall J, Moran R, Saxena N (2015). Evidence that subanesthetic doses of ketamine cause sustained disruptions of NMDA and AMPA-mediated frontoparietal connectivity in humans. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(33), 11694-11706. Abstract.
Shaw AD, Saxena N, E. Jackson L, Hall JE, Singh KD, Muthukumaraswamy SD (2015). Ketamine amplifies induced gamma frequency oscillations in the human cerebral cortex. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 25(8), 1136-1146.
Robson SE, Muthukumarawswamy SD, John Evans C, Shaw A, Brealy J, Davis B, McNamara G, Perry G, Singh KD (2015). Structural and neurochemical correlates of individual differences in gamma frequency oscillations in human visual cortex. Journal of Anatomy, 227(4), 409-417. Abstract.
Brealy JA, Shaw A, Richardson H, Singh KD, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Keedwell PA (2014). Increased visual gamma power in schizoaffective bipolar disorder. Psychological Medicine, 45(4), 783-794. Abstract.
Shaw A, Brealy J, Richardson H, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Edden RA, John Evans C, Puts NAJ, Singh KD, Keedwell PA (2013). Marked Reductions in Visual Evoked Responses But Not γ-Aminobutyric Acid Concentrations or γ-Band Measures in Remitted Depression. Biological Psychiatry, 73(7), 691-698.

Publications by year


2024

Murphy RJ, Godfrey K, Shaw AD, Muthukumaraswamy S, Sumner RL (2024). Modulation of long-term potentiation following microdoses of LSD captured by thalamo-cortical modelling in a randomised, controlled trial. BMC Neuroscience, 25(1). Abstract.

2023

Stone E, Alshakhouri M, Shaw A, Muthukumaraswamy S, Sumner RL (2023). Changes in Visual Long-Term Potentiation Show Preserved Cyclicity in Human Females Taking Combined Oral Contraceptives. Neuroendocrinology, 113(8), 859-874. Abstract.
Adams NE, Jafarian A, Perry A, Rouse MA, Shaw AD, Murley AG, Cope TE, Bevan-Jones WR, Passamonti L, Street D, et al (2023). Neurophysiological consequences of synapse loss in progressive supranuclear palsy. Brain, 146(6), 2584-2594. Abstract.  Author URL.

2022

Adams NE, Jafarian A, Perry A, Rouse MA, Shaw AD, Murley AG, Cope TE, Bevan-Jones WR, Passamonti L, Street D, et al (2022). Neurophysiological consequences of synapse loss in progressive supranuclear palsy.  Abstract.

2021

Saxena N, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Richmond L, Babic A, Singh KD, Hall JE, Wise RG, Shaw AD (2021). A comparison of GABA-ergic (propofol) and non-GABA-ergic (dexmedetomidine) sedation on visual and motor cortical oscillations, using magnetoencephalography. Neuroimage, 245 Abstract.  Author URL.
Egerton A, Murphy A, Donocik J, Anton A, Barker GJ, Collier T, Deakin B, Drake R, Eliasson E, Emsley R, et al (2021). Dopamine and Glutamate in Antipsychotic-Responsive Compared with Antipsychotic-Nonresponsive Psychosis: a Multicenter Positron Emission Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Study (STRATA). Schizophr Bull, 47(2), 505-516. Abstract.  Author URL.
Adams NE, Hughes LE, Rouse MA, Phillips HN, Shaw AD, Murley AG, Cope TE, Bevan-Jones WR, Passamonti L, Street D, et al (2021). GABAergic cortical network physiology in frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Brain, 144(7), 2135-2145. Abstract.
Sumner RL, Spriggs MJ, Shaw AD (2021). Modelling thalamocortical circuitry shows that visually induced LTP changes laminar connectivity in human visual cortex. PLOS Computational Biology, 17(1), e1008414-e1008414. Abstract.
Shaw AD, Chandler HL, Hamandi K, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Hammers A, Singh KD (2021). Tiagabine induced modulation of oscillatory connectivity and activity match PET-derived, canonical GABA-A receptor distributions. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 50, 34-45.

2020

Saxena N, Shaw AD, Richmond L, Babic A, Singh KD, Hall JE, Wise RG, Muthukumaraswamy SD (2020). A comparison of GABA-ergic (propofol) and non-GABA-ergic (dexmedetomidine) sedation on visual and motor cortical oscillations, using magnetoencephalography.  Abstract.
Adams NE, Hughes LE, Phillips HN, Shaw AD, Murley AG, Nesbitt D, Cope TE, Bevan-Jones WR, Passamonti L, Rowe JB, et al (2020). GABA-ergic Dynamics in Human Frontotemporal Networks Confirmed by Pharmaco-Magnetoencephalography. The Journal of Neuroscience, 40(8), 1640-1649. Abstract.
Shaw AD, Chandler HL, Hamandi K, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Hammers A, Singh KD (2020). GABA<sub>A</sub> receptor mapping in human using non-invasive electrophysiology.  Abstract.
Shaw AD, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Saxena N, Sumner RL, Adams NE, Moran RJ, Singh KD (2020). Generative modelling of the thalamo-cortical circuit mechanisms underlying the neurophysiological effects of ketamine. NeuroImage, 221, 117189-117189.
Routley B, Shaw A, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Singh KD, Hamandi K (2020). Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy shows increased posterior theta, and reduced sensorimotor beta resting connectivity. Epilepsy Research, 163, 106324-106324.
Sumner RL, Spriggs MJ, Shaw AD (2020). Modelling thalamocortical circuitry shows visually induced LTP changes laminar connectivity in human visual cortex.  Abstract.

2019

Shaw AD, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Saxena N, Sumner RL, Adams N, Moran RJ, Singh KD (2019). Generative modelling of the thalamo-cortical circuit mechanisms underlying the neurophysiological effects of ketamine.  Abstract.
Shaw AD, Hughes LE, Moran R, Coyle-Gilchrist I, Rittman T, Rowe JB (2019). In Vivo Assay of Cortical Microcircuitry in Frontotemporal Dementia: a Platform for Experimental Medicine Studies. Cerebral Cortex, 31(3), 1837-1847. Abstract.
Shaw AD, Knight L, Freeman TCA, Williams GM, Moran RJ, Friston KJ, Walters JTR, Singh KD (2019). Oscillatory, Computational, and Behavioral Evidence for Impaired GABAergic Inhibition in Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin

2018

Sumner RL, McMillan RL, Shaw AD, Singh KD, Sundram F, Muthukumaraswamy SD (2018). Peak visual gamma frequency is modified across the healthy menstrual cycle. Human Brain Mapping, 39(8), 3187-3202. Abstract.

2017

Shaw AD, Moran RJ, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Brealy J, Linden DE, Friston KJ, Singh KD (2017). Neurophysiologically-informed markers of individual variability and pharmacological manipulation of human cortical gamma. NeuroImage, 161, 19-31.

2015

Muthukumaraswamy SD, Shaw AD, Jackson LE, Hall J, Moran R, Saxena N (2015). Evidence that subanesthetic doses of ketamine cause sustained disruptions of NMDA and AMPA-mediated frontoparietal connectivity in humans. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(33), 11694-11706. Abstract.
Shaw AD, Saxena N, E. Jackson L, Hall JE, Singh KD, Muthukumaraswamy SD (2015). Ketamine amplifies induced gamma frequency oscillations in the human cerebral cortex. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 25(8), 1136-1146.
Robson SE, Muthukumarawswamy SD, John Evans C, Shaw A, Brealy J, Davis B, McNamara G, Perry G, Singh KD (2015). Structural and neurochemical correlates of individual differences in gamma frequency oscillations in human visual cortex. Journal of Anatomy, 227(4), 409-417. Abstract.

2014

Brealy JA, Shaw A, Richardson H, Singh KD, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Keedwell PA (2014). Increased visual gamma power in schizoaffective bipolar disorder. Psychological Medicine, 45(4), 783-794. Abstract.

2013

Shaw A, Brealy J, Richardson H, Muthukumaraswamy SD, Edden RA, John Evans C, Puts NAJ, Singh KD, Keedwell PA (2013). Marked Reductions in Visual Evoked Responses But Not γ-Aminobutyric Acid Concentrations or γ-Band Measures in Remitted Depression. Biological Psychiatry, 73(7), 691-698.

Alex_Shaw Details from cache as at 2024-02-20 00:12:49

Refresh publications

Teaching

 

  • PSY2209 Cognition Practical 1 - projects in the area of inhibition.
  • PSY3451 Clinical Neuroscience: Brains, Drugs and Psychiatry.
  • PSYM225Z Biological Psychology. 

 

Modules

2023/24


Supervision / Group

Postgraduate researchers

  • Alessia Caccamo. PhD (Maths). Mathematical models to understand large-scale brain dynamics. Supervised (50/50) with Prof Marc Goodfellow.
  • Linxi Chen. (Postgraduate). Attachment types and cortical oscillatory responses to alcohol.
  • Rose Diebel. (Postgraduate). Modelling thalamo-cortical dynamics from sleep EEG in young people at high risk of psychosis. Part of The Sleep Detectives programme.
  • Joy Krecke. (Staff). Exploring the Neurobiological and Psychological Mechanisms of Ketamine in Problematic Gambling: A Mechanistic Study.
  • Katya Rak. (Postgraduate). Elucidating the synaptic mechanisms underwriting the antidepressant properties of ketamine using realistic generative models of cortex.
  • Victoria Smart. (Postgraduate). Modelling cortical prediction errors under ketamine in gambling disorder: An EEG Auditory Mismatch Negativity Study.
  • Cloe Westaway. (Postgraduate). Comparing the effects of acute alcohol and a novel GABAergic botanical drink on cortical responses.

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