Professor Peter Robinson

  • An ARC Federation Fellow
  • Professor in the School of Physics, University of Sydney
  • Deputy Director of the Brain Dynamics Center at the Westmead Millennium Institute
  • Research Director of the University of Sydney's Center for Waves and Complex Systems

Current research interests

Professor Robinson has wide ranging interests in the areas of complex systems, brain dynamics, sleep modeling, computational neuroscience, biological physics, plasma and space physics, and other areas of theoretical and computational physics. In the area of the CCRE he is developing and verifying quantitative physiologically based models of sleep-wake dynamics and new methods of analysis of sleep data.

Major research achivements

Professor Robinson has developed and tested quantitative models of brain dynamics underlying observed brain activity in normal sleep and wake states, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease. His model of sleep-wake dynamics reproduces numerous experimental results on normal and abnormal physiological conditions, fatigue, shift work, jet lag, drug effects, and the sleep of other species. His work on modeling brain activity more generally is being used commercially by the listed spinoff company Brain Resource Ltd. In other areas, he is recognized for his contributions to nonlinear and stochastic processes in plasmas and is a CI on the STEREO spacecraft mission.

CCRE role & involvement in CCRE projects:

Professor Robinson will be involved in projects aiming to further extend and verify quantitative models of sleep-wake dynamics and to develop new methods of sleep data analysis. In particular, these will be applied to individual subject data to analyze and monitor alertness from new perspectives. This will consolidate and make more quantitative the links between physiology and pharmacology, on one hand, and alertness on the other.

Relevant publications

Prof Robinson has published nearly 300 refereed articles in various areas, including nearly 100 in biological physics. Some key articles in the areas of brain dynamics and sleep dynamics are:

  1. Robinson, P. A., et al., Phys. Rev. E, 56, 826 (1997).
  2. Robinson, P. A., et al., Phys. Rev. E, 65, 041924 (2002).
  3. Robinson, P. A., et al., Hum. Brain Mapp., 23, 53 (2004).
  4. Breakspear, M., et al., Cerebral Cortex, 16, 1296 (2006).
  5. Robinson, P. A., et al., NeuroImage, 31, 585 (2006).
  6. Phillips, A. J.K., and Robinson, P. A., J. Biol. Rhythms, 22, 167 (2007).
  7. Deco, G., et al., PLoS – Comp. Biol., e1000092 (2008).
  8. Phillips, A. J. K., and Robinson, P. A., J. Theor. Biol., 255, 413 (2008).
  9. van Albada, S. J., and Robinson, P. A., J. Theor. Biol., 257, 642 (2009).
  10. Robinson, P. A., et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 103, 108104 (2009).