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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Benjamin T. Dunkley, Ph.D.

The Hospital for Sick Children
MEG Clinical Associate
Diagnostic Imaging

Research Institute
Associate Scientist
Neurosciences & Mental Health

University of Toronto
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Medical Imaging


Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 328817
Email: ben.dunkley@sickkids.ca
Alternate Contact: Seetha Sriharan
Alternate Phone: 416-813-5175
Alternate Email: seetha.sriharan@sickkids.ca

Brief Biography

Dr. Benjamin Dunkley studied at Cardiff University, UK, where he completed his PhD thesis on the role of cortical oscillations in oculomotor control and vision motion perception using MEG. This was then followed by a postdoc at York University, Toronto, where he used fMRI and TMS to study transaccadic integration and spatiotopic representation in the dorsal visual stream. This was in turn followed by a second postdoc at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) with Drs. Margot Taylor and Elizabeth Pang, which involved the study of clinical population using MEG to characterise aberrant functional (spectral) connectivity in psychological (PTSD) and physical (mTBI) trauma, during cognition and task-free resting-state. He now works at SickKids as a Clinical Associate, using MEG to study changes in brain functional connectivity related to a variety of neurological and psychiatric conditions.
 

Research Interests

  • MEG brain imaging: cortical oscillations, neural synchronisation, functional/spectral connectivity, evoked and induced responses, computational and systems neuroscience
  • Clinical neurophysiology: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Mild Traumatic brain injury (mTBI), Emotional dysregulation (ED), uniocular visual pathway development, perinatal stroke
  • Cognition, perception and action: Attention, mental flexibility, cognitive control, vision, eye movements, sensory-motor integration

Broadly speaking, Dunkley's current research involves studying the role of brain oscillations and functional connectivity underlying cognition and perception in clinical populations. He is particularly interested in how psychiatric and neurological conditions, such as PTSD and mTBI for example, impact large-scale communication in the brain mediated by the synchronisation of neural rhythms across distinct regions of the cortex. Dunkley studies these phenomena using magnetoencephalography, or MEG, which allows the synchronous firing of neurons in the cortex to be non-invasively measured, either during rest or when performing a cognitive task. Then, drawing on areas of psychology, neuroscience and network science, he can begin to explain how cognitive and perceptual deficits in clinical populations are related to atypical brain function. Through longitudinal study of mental health conditions, Dunkley hopes to one day be able to relate these brain signatures to outcome, and accurately predict recovery and guide rehabilitation.  

Publications

2016 

Da Costa, L., Dunkley, B.T., Bethune, A., Robertson, A., MacDonald, M., Taylor, M.J. & Pang, E.W. Feasibility of magnetoencephalography after endovascular treatment of ruptured intracranial aneurysms, Frontiers in Neurology, doi: dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2016.00163
                                                                                 
Da Costa, L, Dunkley, B.T., Bethune, A., Robertson, A., MacDonald, M. & Pang, E.W. Increased frontal lobe activation following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, Stroke, 47(9). doi: 0.1161/STROKEAHA.116.013786

Dunkley, B.T., Baltaretu, B. & Crawford, J.D. Trans-saccadic Interactions in human parietal and occipital cortex during the retention and comparison of object orientation, Cortex,82:263-76. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2016.06.012

Dunkley, B.T., Doesburg, S.M., Sedge, P.A., Jetly, R., Shek, P.N., Pang, E.W.& Taylor, M.J. Alpha hyperconnectivity and atypical memory processing in soldiers with PTSD, Journal of Neuroimaging in Psychiatry and Neurology, 1(2):54-63

Sussman, D., Pang, E.W., Jetly, R., Dunkley, B.T.* & Taylor, M.J. Neuroanatomical features in soldiers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, BMC Neuroscience,17(13):1-11, doi: 10.1186/s12868-016-0247-x

Dunkley, B.T, Pang, E.W., Sedge, P. A., Jetly, R., Doesburg, S. M., & Taylor, M. J. Threatening faces induce fear circuitry hypersynchrony in soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder, Heliyon,2(1). doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2015.e00063

Misic, B., Dunkley, B.T., Sedge, P.A., Da Costa, L., Fatima, Z., Berman, M.G., Doesburg, S.M., McIntosh, A.R., Grodecki, R.J., Jetly, R., Pang, E.W. & Taylor, M.J. Posttraumatic stress constrains the dynamic repertoire of neural activity, Journal of Neuroscience, 36(2), 419-431. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1506-15.2016

2015 

Pang, E.W., Dunkley, B.T., Doesburg, S.M., Da Costa, L. & Taylor, M. J. Reduced brain connectivity and mental flexbility in mild traumatic brain injury, Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, doi: 10.1002/acn3.280

Dunkley, B.T., Freeman, T.C.A., Muthukumaraswamy, S.D. & Singh, K.D. Evidence that smooth pursuit velocity, not eye position, modulates alpha and beta oscillations in human middle temporal cortex, Human Brain Mapping, 36(12): 5220-5232. doi: 10.1002/hbm.23006

Dunkley, B.T. Differential intrinsic coupling modes in psychological and physical trauma, Frontiers in Psychiatry,6:140. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00140

Dunkley, B.T., Doesburg, S.M., Jetly, R., Sedge, P.A., Pang, E.W. & Taylor, M.J. Characterising intra- and inter-intrinsic network synchrony in combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 234(2):72-81. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pscychresns.2015.09.002

Dunkley, B.T., Sedge, P.A., Doesburg, S.M., Grodecki, R. J., Jetly, R., Shek, P.N., Taylor, M.J. & Pang, E.W. Theta, mental flexibility and PTSD: connecting in the parietal cortex, PLOS ONE, 10(4). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123541

Dunkley, B.T., Da Costa, L., Bethune, A., Jetly, R., Pang, E.W., Taylor, M.J. & Doesburg, S.M. Low-frequency connectivity is associated with mild traumatic brain injury. NeuroImage: Clinical, 7, 611-621. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2015.02.020

2014 

Dunkley, B.T., Doesburg, S.M., Sedge, P.A., Grodecki, R.J., Shek, P.N., Pang, E.W. & Taylor, M.J.
Resting-state hippocampal connectivity correlates with symptom severity in post-traumatic stress disorder, NeuroImage: Clinical, 5, 377–384. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2014.07.017

Allen, C., Dunkley, B.T., Muthukumaraswamy, S.D., Edden, R., Evans, C. J., Sumner, P., Singh, K.D. & Chambers, C.D. Enhanced awareness followed reversible inhibition of human visual cortex: A combined TMS, MRS and MEG study, PLOS ONE, 9(6):1-20. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100350

Dymond, D., Lawrence, N.S., Dunkley, B.T.,  Yuen, S.L., Hinton, E.C., Dixon, M.R., Cox, W.M., Hoon, A.E., Munnelly, A., Muthukumaraswamy, S.D. & Singh, K.D. Almost winning: Induced MEG theta power in insula and orbitofrontal cortex increases during gambling near-misses and is associated with BOLD signal and gambling severity, NeuroImage, 91(1):210-219. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.01.019

2013 

Dunkley, B.T., Freeman, T.C.A., Muthukumaraswamy, S.D. & Singh, K.D. Cortical oscillatory changes in human Middle Temporal Cortex underlying smooth pursuit eye movements, Human Brain Mapping, 34(4):837-851. doi: 10.1002/hbm.21478