Dr Catherine Davey

  • Room: Level: 02 Room: 201
  • Building: Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Campus: Parkville

Research interests

  • Biomedical Engineering (Functional MRI)
  • Biomedical Engineering (Synaptic plasticity and learning)


Dr. Catherine Davey is a Research Fellow in the Biomedical Engineering research group at the University of Melbourne. Catherine's primary research area is in spike timing dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP), which is the process by which neurons adapt connection strengths to other neurons during learning. This research aims to develop a theoretical framework for synaptic plasticity, with a particular focus on incorporating the effect of modulation by neuromodulators such as dopamine, to enable modelling the effect of reward signals on STDP. A further goal of Catherine's research is to Investigate ways in which brain-machine interfaces can be optimised based upon the developed model of reward-modulated STDP.

Catherine completed her doctoral research in functional MRI connectivity, which is a field of research that analyses a series of low resolution MRI images to identify how brain regions cooperate to achieve sensory and perception tasks. After completing her Ph.D. Catherine worked at the Defence Science Technology Organisation, modelling pilot cognition and aircraft control. She then worked in finance, modelling and predicting the movement of stock prices on the S&P500.

Catherine's current research involves the use of mathematical models and computer simulations to describe, and gain insight into, neuronal processes.

Catherine is available for student supervision, including honours, Masters, and Doctorate students. Projects will be in neuro-engineering, and computational neuroscience, and will involve both numerical computation and mathematical modelling. Such projects are suited to students with an interest in mathematics.

Recent publications

  1. Davey C, Grayden D, Egan G, Johnston L. Filtering induces correlation in fMRI resting state data. Neuroimage. Academic Press. 2013, Vol. 64.
  2. Davey C, Grayden D, Gavrilescu M, Egan G, Johnston L. The equivalence of linear Gaussian connectivity techniques. Human Brain Mapping. Wiley-Liss. 2013, Vol. 34, Issue 9.
  3. Hosking SG, Davey C, Kaiser MK. Visual cues for manual control of headway. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. Frontiers Research Foundation. 2013, Vol. 7.