Dr Hocking is a Senior Research Fellow, ARC DECRA Fellow, and Director of the DNCLab within the School of Psychology and Public Health at La Trobe University. His team and collaborators explore age-dependent changes in the cerebellar-fronto-parietal axis underlying cognitive-motor performance across neurodevelopmental disorders and typical development.
His research is focused on three core themes:
- Genetic influences on cerebellar development as it relates to executive function and dual-task motor performance
- Mapping development of motor control (and its neural correlates) and constraints on cognitive and social outcomes in childhood through adolescence
- Role of oxytocin in modulating amygdala reactivity to social threat and approach behaviour in anxiety and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Among these goals, Dr Hocking's work aims to increase the efficacy of training interventions by considering unique cognitive-motor strengths and weaknesses across different developmental periods.
Anna completed her BSc(Hons) BEd (Secondary) in 2011, and has worked in child and adult development research since 2012. Anna has a keen interest in genetic disorders, development and learning, and has worked on several projects on attention and motor control in Fragile X, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Williams syndrome and intellectual disability.
Rachel Pelly is a research assistant with the Cognition & Emotion Research Centre at Australian Catholic University. Rachel is working on the project "A Neurobiological Comparison of Social Cognitive Deficits in Young Adults with Neurodevelopmental and Anxiety Disorders", which is being run as a collaboration between the DNCLab and Dr Izelle Labuschagne of the Cognition & Emotion Research Centre. The project is primarily investigating the relationship between brain responses to social stimuli and levels of oxytocin in adults with Social Anxiety Disorder, Williams syndrome and typically developing adults. Rachel completed her Honours degree in Psychology in 2015 at the Australian Catholic University and hopes to eventually go on to complete a PhD.
Rebecca Bobin is a Master of Clinical Psychology candidate and provisional psychologist within the Australian Catholic University. Rebecca completed her BPsych (Hons) research project under the supervision of Dr. Hocking and her research interests include the nature and prevalence of anxiety in both typical and atypical development. Rebecca is a Research Assistant within the DNCLab and has research experience working with typically developing children and individuals with Williams syndrome.
MPsych (Clin Neuropsych)
I am a cMPsych (Clin Neuropsych) within the DNCLab. My research concerns the neurobiological mechanisms of oxytocin, and its role in the social cognitive deficits characteristic of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders.
Peter is a member of OTARC and the DNCLab as part of his candidature in the Doctor of Clinical Neuropsychology program at La Trobe University. Peter's research is focussed on early learning strengths and weaknesses in autism and Williams syndrome and how these relate to intellectual and adaptive outcomes.
Joanne McIntyre, OTR, MS (Psych), BCN
Joanne moved to the United States after graduating from La Trobe University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy. She later completed a Master’s of Science majoring in Psychology at California Southern University. She is a PhD student within the DNCLab and will be investigating the underlying neurobehavioral mechanisms for the effects of an Integrated Listening and motor training program in children with developmental disabilities.
Jessica is a combined MPsych/PhD student at Macquarie University and co-supervised by Dr. Hocking and A/Prof Melanie Porter in the DNCLab. Jessica's research is focussed on the effect of early environmental, cognitive and motor constraints on later intellectual development in Willliams syndrome and autism, and impact of early learning experiences on neuropsychological profiles.
Kenneth Yu (BSci [Hon], GradDipPsych, MBA) is a Master of Clinical Psychology candidate and provisional psychologist at La Trobe University, under Dr. Hocking’s research supervision. Kenneth has a particular interest in the neurophysiology, neuroanatomy and genetic variations associated with mental illness. For his research, he uses fMRI to examine the role of oxytocin in amygdala activation and functional connectivity when processing fear in typical development with implications for anxiety in neurodevelopmental disorders.
MPsych (Clin Neuropsych)
I’m a Master of Clinical Neuropsychology candidate at La Trobe University. For my research, I will be using motor, gait and posture technologies to explore how children with neurodevelopment disorders integrate various modalities of sensory-motor input.
Kezia completed her Honours year in 2016 under Dr. Hocking’s supervision. Her research investigated the use of prior knowledge on the integration of perceptual-motor processes in young, typically developing children, and the link between these processes and autistic traits. She is interested in child and developmental psychology, and is a research assistant on "Developmental trajectories of multitasking effects on motor control". She aims to apply to commence her postgraduate studies in the near future.
Hassan completed his BPsych in 2016 at La Trobe University and is undergoing further study at Monash university. He is currently working as a research assistant at the DNCLab exploring the effects of multitasking on motor control using gait tracking hardware and relevant software.
Kelsie is a PhD student co-supervised by Dr. Hocking and A/Prof Melanie Porter at Macquarie University. Her research project aims to examine the effects of variations in oxytocin on biographical face learning and top-down influences on social approach in typical and atypical development.
Under the supervision of Dr. Hocking, Heba will investigate the implication of cognitive-motor interference, as accounted by the dual-process theory, on attentional demands required for balance control, in typically developing children. She will also explore the developmental effect of executive functioning on attention allocation during multitasking, and which strategies children use to prioritise tasks when taking into account inter- and intra- developmental variables.