Jessica McFadyen

PhD Student


Phone: 0401 763 596


Dr. Marta Garrido (primary)

Professor Jason Mattingley

Current research

I am investigating how different neural networks within the brain process emotional visual stimuli, such as fearful faces. Specifically, I am looking at the amygdala and visual cortex and how their neural connections are modulated by spatial frequency and emotion. To do this, I am using various neuroimaging techniques, including magnetoencephalography (MEG) and dynamic causal modelling (DCM).

Research interests

  • Emotion: through what neural networks does sensory input evoke emotion?
  • Consciousness: which neural mechanisms are involved in bringing emotion in or out of awareness?
  • MEG & DCM: using the temporal and spatial resolution of MEG in combination with DCM to answer questions about when and how neural areas communicate with one another.

Published papers

McFadyen, J., Mermillod, M., Mattingley, J. B., Halasz, V., & Garrido, M. I. (2017). A Rapid Subcortical Amygdala Route for Faces Irrespective of Spatial Frequency and Emotion. J Neurosci, 37(14) 3864-3874. doi:

Bednark, J., Poonian, S. K., Palghat, K., McFadyen, J., & Cunnington, R. (2015). Identity-specific predictions and implicit measures of agency. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, 2(3), 253-268.

Cao, Y., Contreras-Huerta, L. S., McFadyen, J., & Cunnington, R. (2015). Racial bias in neural response to others' pain is reduced with other-race contact. Cortex, 70, 68-78.

Poonian, S. K., McFadyen, J., Ogden, J., & Cunnington, R. (2015). Implicit agency in observed actions: Evidence for N1 suppression of tones caused by self-made and observed actions. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27(4), 752-764.

Conference presentations

McFadyen, J., Lord, A., & Garrido, M. I. (2016, November). Dynamic causal modelling reveals a rapid subcortical route to the amygdala in visual and auditory processing. Poster presented at the Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society (ACNS) Conference, Shoal Bay, Australia.

McFadyen, J. & Cunnington, R. (2014, September). The Effect of Caricaturing on the Racial Bias in Empathy. Presented at the University of Queensland Undergraduate Conference, Brisbane, Australia.