Published Work from Our Team and Collaborators
This paper looks at the enigma of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how it is embedded in a complex array of physiological responses to stressful situations that result in disruptions in arousal and cognitions that characterise the psychological disorder. A total of 124 papers based on adult samples were identified comprising 19 machine learning studies involving EEG and ECG. A further 21 studies using EEG data, and 84 studies employing ECG meeting all other criteria but not employing machine learning were included for comparison. This paper discussing the emerging trends, algorithms used and their success is provided, along with areas for future research.
This paper examined PTSD and Complex PTSD (CPTSD) symptom profiles (co-occurring PTSD and disturbances in self-organization [DSO] symptoms) and their premigration, postmigration, and demographic predictors, using latent class analysis (LCA), in a cohort of 112 refugees resettled in Australia. The findings are consistent with the ICD-11 model of CPTSD and highlight the contributions of cumulative trauma to CPTSD and PTSD profiles as well as of contextual stress from visa uncertainty to DSO symptom profiles in refugee cohorts, particularly those characterized by affect dysregulation.
This paper describes preliminary results of a pilot study that indicate a possible benefit of neurofeedback for remediating PTSD. We hypothesised that neurofeedback helped to improve cognitive control, observed as normalization of the P3 NOGO. The shift in P3 NOGO in clients who also remitted from trauma symptoms is consistent with the hypothesis that an improvement in cognitive control underlies recovery from PTSD. Further confirmation of the effectiveness and mechanisms of the treatment now requires a randomised controlled trial.
This paper examines the influence of PTSD symptoms, cumulative trauma, and recent postmigration stress on neural reactivity and regional coupling within the refugee sample. Cumulative trauma and postmigration stress but not PTSD symptoms correlated with fear-related brain activity and connectivity. Trauma exposure correlated with stronger activity but overall decreased connectivity in the bilateral posterior insula/rolandic operculum, postcentral gyrus, ventral anterior cingulate cortex, and posterior cingulate gyrus. Postmigration stress correlated with fusiform gyrus hyperactivity and increased connectivity in face-processing networks. Findings highlight the impact of past trauma and recent postmigration stress on fear-related neural responses within refugees over and above PTSD symptoms.
This paper describes the assessment and application of neurofeedback integrated into the treatment of two clients with chronic PTSD. The details of our treatment schedule, symptoms and quantitative electrophysiological (EEG) data for each case was described. Both clients achieved significant reduction in symptoms of PTSD and improvement in daily functioning post neurofeedback therapy. Quantitative electroencephalogric measures indicated a normalisation of EEG markers relating to trauma, including overarousal at rest and working memory function. If replicated, the improvements demonstrated in this population would be generalizable to all chronic PTSD.
This paper describes a case study of a 14-year-old African refugee boy who survived multiple traumas related to war, displacement, and deprivation. Traumatized from the age of 2, his presentation was primarily one of affect dysregulation. This paper describes how neurofeedback was integrated with psychotherapy to address both the core hyperarousal and the unavailability of the necessary cortical and behavioural skills required to regulate affect.
This paper describes the Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS), established by the Australian government to provide specialized services for the many torture and trauma survivors accepted as refugees in Australia. Of the clients served by STARTTS, 30% present with post traumatic stress disorder. The authors report on the integration of neurofeedback into the psychotherapy provided to these individuals.
This paper describes a case of a 62 year-old man who had been tortured by the Pinochet regime in Chile over twenty years earlier. The authors describe his neurofeedback treatment at STARTTS and reflect on the impact of torture and trauma experiences on the nervous system.