Dr Deborah Apthorp

Lecturer , Psychology - Faculty of Medicine and Health; School of Psychology


Dip Mus. (performance), Queensland Conservatorium, 1986

B. Psych (Hons, medal), Macquarie University, 2006

PhD (Psychology), University of Sydney, 2011.

Teaching Areas

PSYC422 (Advanced Research Skills)

PSYC412 (Group Project Supervision)

Research Interests

Dr. Apthorp is a cognitive neuroscientist specialising in the human visual system and its interactions with other sensory systems, and also how changes in these systems might serve as non-invasive ways to track disease progression in diseases like Parkinson’s disease and MS. She is also currently collaborating with machine learning experts to develop new and exciting ways to analyse multimodal longitudinal data in these studies.

Research Supervision Experience

Cognitive neuroscience (EEG, psychophysics)

Parkinson’s Disease - tracking disease progression using objective biomarkers (e.g. postural sway, EEG, eye movements)

Visual perception and musisensory perception (including self-motion perception)

Sleep and its effects on cognition and perception


Carter, A., Richards, L., Apthorp, D., et al. (2019). A neuroethics framework for the AustralianBrain Initiative. Neuron (accepted).

Apthorp, D., Bolbecker, A, Bartolomeo, L., O’Donnell, B.F., & Hetrick, W.P. (2018). Postural sway abnormalities in schizotypal personality disorder. Schizophrenia Bulletin 73, 1082. http://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sby141.

Arcioni,  B.,  Palmisano,  S., Apthorp,  D.,  & Kim,  J. Postural stability predicts the likelihood of cybersickness in active HMD-based virtual reality. Displays (in press). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.displa.2018.07.001.

Bolbecker, A., Apthorp, D.,  Schnakenberg Martin, A., Tahayori, B., Moravec, L, Gomez,K.L., O’Donnell, B.F., Newman, S.D., & Hetrick, W.P. (2018).  Disturbances of postural sway components in cannabis users. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 190, 54–61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.05.012.

Apthorp, D..  Bertamini, M.: “Programming Visual Illusions for Everyone” (book review). Perception, 47(6), 684-685. https://doi.org/10.1177/0301006618773795.

Mursic, R. A., Riecke, B. E., Apthorp, D., & Palmisano, S. (2017). The Shepard–Risset glissando: music that moves you. Experimental Brain Research, 1–17. http://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-017-5033-1

Apthorp, D., Griffiths, S., Alais, D., & Cass, J. (2017). Adaptation-Induced Blindness is orientation-tuned and monocular. i-Perception, 8(2), 2041669517698149. http://doi.org/10.1177/2041669517698149

Davis, J., McKone, E., Zirnsak, M., Moore, T., O'Kearney, R., Apthorp, D., & Palermo, R. (2017). Social and attention-to-detail subclusters of autistic traits differentially predict looking at eyes and face identity recognition ability. British Journal of Psychology, 108(1), 191–219. http://doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12188

Turner, L., Jakabek, D., Wilkes, F.,; Croft, R., Churchyard, A., Walterfang, M., Velakoulis, D., Looi, J., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., & Apthorp, D. (2016). Striatal morphology correlates with frontostrial electrophysiological motor processing in Huntington’s Disease: An Image-HD Study. Brain & Behavior, e00511–13. http://doi.org/10.1002/brb3.511

Turner, L.M, Croft, R.J., Churchyard, A., Looi, J., Apthorp, D., & Georgiou-Karistianis, N. (2015). Abnormal electrophysiological motor responses in Huntington’s Disease: Evidence of premanifest compensation. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0138563. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0138563

Apthorp, D., & Bell, J. (2015). Symmetry is less than meets the eye. Current Biology, 25(7), R267-8. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.02.017

Rideaux, R., Apthorp, D., & Edwards, M. (2015). Evidence for parallel consolidation of motion direction and orientation into visual working memory. Journal of Vision, 15(2):17, 1-12. http://doi.org/10.1167/15.12.956

Apthorp, D., Nagle, F., & Palmisano, S. (2014). Chaos in balance: Non-linear measures of postural control predict individual variations in visual illusions of motion. PLoS One, 9(12): e113897. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0113897

Palmisano, S., Allison, R.S., Ash, A., Nakamura, S., & Apthorp, D. (2014). Evidence against an ecological explanation for the jitter advantage in vection. Frontiers in Psychology, 5:1297

Apthorp, D., & Palmisano, S. (2014). The role of perceived speed in vection: does perceived speed modulate the jitter and oscillation advantages? PLoS One, 9(3): e92260. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0092260

Palmisano, S., Apthorp, D., Seno, T., & Stapley, P.J. (2014). Spontaneous postural instability predicts susceptibility to vection in depth. Experimental Brain Research 232:1185–1191. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01297

Ash, A., Palmisano, S., Apthorp, D., & Allison, R. (2013). Vection in depth during treadmill walking. Perception, 42(5), 562–576. http://doi.org/10.1068/p7449

Apthorp, D., Alais, D., & Boenke, L. (2013). Flash illusions induced by visual, auditory and audiovisual stimuli. Journal of Vision, 13(5):3, 1- 15. http://doi.org/10.1167/13.5.3

Apthorp, D., Schwarzkopf, D.S., Kaul, C., Bahrami, B., Alais, D., & Rees, G. (2013). Direct evidence for encoding of motion streaks in human visual cortex. Proceedings of the Royal Society (B), 280(1752), 20122339–20122339. http://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2012.2339

Alais, D., Apthorp, D., Karmann, A. & Cass, J. (2011). Temporal integration of movement: the time-course of motion streaks revealed by masking. PLoS One 6(12): e28675. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0028675

Taubert, J., Apthorp, D., Aagten-Murphy, D. & Alais, D. (2011). The role of holistic processing in face perception: Evidence from the face inversion effect. Vision Research, 51(11), 1273–1278. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.visres.2011.04.002

Apthorp, D., Cass, J. & Alais, D. (2011). The spatial tuning of ‘motion streak’ mechanisms revealed by masking and adaptation. Journal of Vision, 11(7):17, 1–16. http://doi.org/10.1167/11.7.17

Dakin, S., Apthorp, D. & Alais, D. (2010). Anisotropies in judging the direction of moving natural scenes. Journal of Vision, 10(11):5, 1–19. http://doi.org/10.1167/10.11.5

Apthorp, D., Cass, J. & Alais, D. (2010). Orientation tuning of contrast masking caused by motion streaks. Journal of Vision, 10(10):11, 1–13. http://doi.org/10.1167/10.10.11

Apthorp, D., Wenderoth, P. & Alais, D. (2009). Motion streaks in fast motion rivalry cause orientation-selective suppression. Journal of Vision, 9(5):10,1–14. http://doi.org/10.1167/9.5.10

Apthorp, D., & Alais, D. (2009). Tilt aftereffects and tilt illusions induced by fast translational motion: Evidence for motion streaks. Journal of Vision, 9(1):27, 1–11. http://doi.org/10.1167/9.1.27