James Martin is completing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in medicine at the University of Adelaide, discipline of psychiatry, focused on the neurobiology of schizophrenia and early psychosis. He is also a legally qualified Psychologist, registered with General Registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). He obtained a first-class Bachelor of Science with Honors (Psychology) at the University of Derby, in the United Kingdom, where he was awarded the Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme and co-authored his first publication on the topic of critical thinking. He then completed the two-year AHPRA internship and further training to obtain his registration as a psychologist in Australia.
He has worked primarily within non-profit agencies, developing extensive experience in learning difficulties, schizophrenia, autism, childhood trauma, and behavior management. In May 2023, James published a systematic review on the neurobiology of Self-Disorder and his research aims to extend our understanding of the biology underlying schizophrenia, whilst contributing to novel early detection approaches in young people at risk of psychosis.
Disturbances of subjective self-experience, termed Self-Disorder, have been identified as a core feature of psychiatric disorders, such as Schizophrenia and the early stages of psychosis. Sadly, self-disorder remains unrecognized in the way we diagnose and treat these conditions, and little is known about the underlying biology. This leaves patients without adequate models of their experience and only modestly effective treatment options. A systematic review already published, indicates that the way regions of the brain communicate and coordinate, termed functional brain connectivity, is different in those with Self-Disorder but consistent with a well-known theory of brain network dysfunction.
This research project aims to inform our understanding of the biology underlying self-disorder, by
(1) exploring patterns of connectivity in the brains of those with self-disorder within large and more complete samples,
(2) examining how brain connectivity changes over time, to better understand the trajectory of symptoms,
(3) exploring additional biological signatures associated with self-disorder and network dysfunction, and
(4) investigating the clinical potential of accessible and affordable screening tools for the detection of self-disorder, towards improving diagnostic and treatment outcomes for young people with psychosis.
Supervisors: A/Professor Oliver Schubert, A/Professor Scott Clark and Dr Simon Hartmann.