Dr Laycock's main research focus is on exploring how visual perception is influenced by anxiety, can be impaired in neurodevelopmental disorders, and the neural mechanisms involved in these processes.
Dr Laycock's main research focus is on understanding the neural mechanisms underlying visual attention and object recognition, and also in how these maybe be impaired in some neurodevelopmental and psychiatric conditions (e.g., dyslexia, autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia/schizotypy).
Investigations of parallel visual pathways in human by use of psychophysics techniques and by application of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to briefly disrupt neural networks are being used to better understand how in healthy individuals such an automatic and rapid perception of the visual world is achieved. Electrophysiological, eye-tracking and functional brain imaging (fMRI) techniques are also important tools for understanding the spatial and temporal profile of visual and visual attentional networks involved.
In particular, Dr Laycock has focused on understanding the contribution of parallel visual pathways (magnocellular, parvocellular), and of their contribution to the dorsal and ventral streams. TMS, as a brain stimulation technique, is a particularly exciting tool when used in conjunction with other cognitive neuroscience methodologies, as it provides causal information about the involvement of cortical regions in a given cognitive task.
Dr Laycock has also looked more recently at how anxiety and acute stress can influence perception, as well as exploring the relationship between conscious and non-conscious visual processing.
- BSc (University of Melbourne)
- Postgrad Dip AppPsych (La Trobe University)
- PhD (La Trobe University)
Vision science, cognitive neuroscience, neurospsychology.
I am particularly interested in visual/attentional (including eye-movement) abnormalities in people on the autism spectrum, or in schizotypy. Also, I am interested in running projects exploring the extent of information processing that is possible without conscious awareness (using Continuous Flash Suppression).