Dr Peter Loxley

Lecturer in Computational Science - School of Science and Technology

Peter Loxley

Phone: +61 2 6773 2307

Email: ploxley@une.edu.au


My PhD was on the field theory of solitons, and the statistical mechanics of nucleation in the ferromagnetic spin-chain model. This work was later used in the design of new types of high-density magnetic storage media for computer hard disks.

My first postdoctoral position was in mathematical neuroscience, in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney. I investigated nonlinear neural dynamics, and proposed a model where neural competition leads to a nonlinear wave instability. This model instability quantifies how a visual stimulus can lead to a visual percept known as binocular rivalry.

My second postdoctoral position was in the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Here, amongst other things, I worked on a statistical model of sensory processing, similar to independent component analysis, that describes how simple cells in the primary visual cortex may reduce redundancy in natural sensory data. I also investigated bi-stable steady states in two-dimensional turbulence by considering maximum entropy states in the point-vortex model. This work was motivated by attempting to understand the dynamics of bi-stable ocean currents such as the Kuroshio current along the east coast of Japan.

I was then an adjunct lecturer at the University of New Mexico (in Los Alamos) teaching first-year maths and computer science, before joining UNE as a lecturer in computational science.


PhD (Physics) University of Western Australia

Teaching Areas

I have taught first-year units in physics, maths, and computer science at the University of Western Australia, the University of New Mexico, and the University of New England.

Research Interests

Statistical Physics, Theoretical Neuroscience, Exactly Solvable Models, Statistical Inference and Machine Learning.


P. N. Loxley and P. A. Robinson, Soliton Model of Competitive Neural Dynamics during Binocular Rivalry, Physical Review Letters 102, 258701 (2009).

P. N. Loxley and B. T. Nadiga, Bistability and Hysteresis of Maximum-Entropy States in Decaying Two-Dimensional Turbulence,
Physics of Fluids 25, 015113 (2013).

P. N. Loxley, The two-dimensional Gabor function adapted to natural image statistics: An analytical model of simple-cell responses in the early visual system, submitted to Neural Computation (2014).