Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Dr Will Sedley

Academic Clinical Lecturer in Neurology

Background

I have been conducting neuroscience research in Newcastle University since 2007, and am currently employed as an Academic Clinical Lecturer in Neurology by NIHR, which combines my research interests with clinical practice and training in neurology.

Research

I am interested in how the brain perceives the world, in paricular how our existing models and impressions give rise to predictions, how these interact with information from the senses to influence what we perceive, and how these go wrong in common clinical disorders.

The majority of my work has been in the auditory system, focusing on mechanisms for phantom sound perception in tinnitus, as well as the related mechanisms for the perception of similar sounds in normal circumstances. My most recent contributions to the field of tinnitus research have been a framework by which tinnitus can be understood as the brain faililng to disregard spontaneous neuronal firing in the auditory pathway as irrelevant noise, but misinterpreting it as a real sound source. Once this occurs, it gives rise to a pervasive prediction of the tinnitus sound, meaning it generally will continue to be perceived indefinitely. My most recent and ongoing work supports this hypothesis, and suggests that we can detect this maladaptive tinnitus prediction through simple and well-established paradigms that present external sounds and record brain responses with EEG.

More recent and ongoing research endeavours include using similar approaches to understand other disorders of perception such as chronic pain and functional neurological disorder (FND).

Publications