Staff Directory

Dr Izelle Labuschagne Name: Dr Izelle Labuschagne
Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow
+613 9953 3816
Organisational Area
Faculty of Health Sciences
School of Behavioural and Health Sciences (VIC)
Building 403 - The Daniel Mannix Building (8-14 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065)-Level 5-Room 403.5.44
Biographical Information

I am a clinical neuroscientist and a Research Fellow in the School of Behavioural and Health Sciences at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. I completed a PhD in clinical neurosciences at Monash University. In addition to training as a neuroscientist, I also obtained accredited training in Psychology during my undergraduate studies at Monash University and postgraduate studies at Swinburne University of Technology.


  • BBNSc(Hons)(Neurosc.)
  • PGDip(Psych)
  • PhD(Neurosc.)


  • 2016 - Certificate for Masterclass in Clinical Trials: Methodology and Conduct presented by NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney, 17-20 Oct
  • 2014 - Academic promotion, Monash University, May [declined].
  • 2013 - Psych ECR Publication Award for best 2012 publication, $250, 2013.
  • 2013 - Achievement award for the Go8 Future Research Leaders Program &ndash 8 training modules completed over 12 months.
  • 2013 - Inaugural graduate from Monash University&rsquos John Bertrand Leadership Series &ndash run by Mr John Bertrand 1 of 47 participants under the age of 40 6-series event with Paul Roos, Christina Kilpatrick, Alan Joyce, Bob Hawk, Fiona Wood.
  • 2013 - Achievement award for Scientific Writing and Publishing, Macmillan Science Communication (Nature Publishing Group).
  • 2013 - Selected for the Monash NHMRC Early Career Fellowship Incubator program 1 of 15 early researchers across Monash University.
  • 2009 - Best Poster Certificate &lsquoMending the Mind in the 21st Century: Translating research into practice&rsquo, Monash University.
  • 2007 - Awarded an Australian Postgraduate Association PhD Scholarship, 2007-2010.
  • 2007 - Awarded Golden Key International Honour Society membership (for top 15% Monash Academic achievement).


  • 2015 - Invited guest VIP scientific innovator at Students of Brain Research (SOBR) Professional Development Dinner, June.
  • 2014 - Inviting speaker at St Mary&rsquos College dinner evening, Melbourne University to talk to students about my career, March.
  • 2013-present - Speaking to local health professionals to bridge the gap between scientists and clinical professionals, Calvary Care Hospital, Caulfield.
  • 2011-2014 - Teaching high schools about brain research during Brain Awareness Week as part of The Dana Foundation (McClelland College, Melb. Siena College, Melb. Rowville Secondary, Melb.).
  • 2012 - Oral presentations to new/current PhD students about &lsquoMy PhD experience&rsquo, 2012.
  • 2011 - Teaching and coordinating a 4-hour primary school excursion to Monash University (Grade 6 boys from St Kevin&rsquos Toorak, Melbourne).
  • 2011 - Teaching 1st year postgraduate students (from Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine Unit, Monash University) about my research experience.




Labuschagne I., Pedder D. J., Henry, J. D., Terrett, G., Rendell, P. G. Older adults successfully regulate positive but not negative facial muscle reactivity to emotional films. Gerontology, Accepted May 2019.

Grace, S., Labuschagne, I., Castle, D. J., Rossell, S. L. (2019). Intranasal oxytocin alters amygdala-temporal resting-state functional connectivity in body dysmorphic disorder: a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 107, 179-186.

Osborne-Crowley, K., Andrews, S. C., Labuschagne, I., Craufurd, D., Tabrizi, S. J., Stout, J.C., and the Track-HD Investigators (2019). Apathy associated with impaired recognition of happy facial expressions in Huntington&rsquos disease. JINS, 25, 453-461.

Terrett, G., Horner, K., White, R., Henry, J. D., Labuschagne, I., Kliegel, M., Rendell, P. G. (2019). The relationship between episodic future thinking and prospective memory in middle childhood: mechanisms depends on task type. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 178, 198-213.

Malcom, A.Labuschagne, I., Castle, D., Terrett, G., Rendell, P. G., Rossell, S.L. (2018). The relationship between body dysmorphic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder: A systematic review of direct comparative studies. Australian New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 52, 1030-1049.

Uljarevic, M., Labuschagne, I., Bobin, R., Atkinson, A., Hocking, D. R. (2018) The impact of sensory hypersensitivity and intolerance of uncertainty on anxiety in Williams syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorder, 48, 3958-3964. 

Grace, S. A., Rossell, S.L., Heinrichs, M., Kordsachia, C., Labuschagne, I. (2018). Oxytocin and brain activity in humans: a systematic review and coordinate-based meta-analysis of functional MRI studies. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 96, 6-24.

Kordsachia, C., Labuschagne, I., Andrews, S. C., Stout, J. C. (2018). Diminished facial EMG responses to disgusting scenes and happy and fearful faces in Huntington&rsquos disease. Cortex, 106, 185-199.

Grainger, S., Henry, J. D., Steinvik, H. R., Vanman, E. J., Rendell, P. G., Labuschagne, I.  (2018). Intranasal oxytocin does not reduce age-related difficulties in social cognition. Hormones & Behavior, 99, 25-34.

Labuschagne, I., Poudel, G., Kordsachia, C., Wu, Q., Thomson, H., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., Stout, J. C. (2018). Oxytocin selectively modulates brain processing of disgust in Huntington&rsquos disease gene carriers. Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 81, 11-16.

Tracy, L., Gibson, S., Labuschagne, I., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., Giummarra, M. (2018). Intranasal oxytocin reduces heart rate variability during a mental arithmetic task: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study. Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 81, 408-415.

Biernacki, K., Terrett, G., McLennan, S. N., Labuschagne, I., Morton, P., Rendell, P. G (2018). Decision making, somatic markers and emotion processing in opiate users. Psychopharmacology, 235, 223-232.

Kordsachia, C. C., Labuschagne I., Stout, J. C.  (2018). Visual scanning of the eye regions of human faces predicts emotion recognition performance in Huntington&rsquos disease. Neuropsychology, 32, 356-365.

Grace, S. A.Labuschagne, I., Kaplan, R. A., Rossell, S. L. (2017). The neurobiology of body dysmorphic disorder: a systematic review and theoretical model. Neurosc & Biobehav Reviews, 83, 83-96.

Jona, C.M.H.Labuschagne, I., Mercieca, E., Fisher. F., Gluyas, C., Stout, J.C., & Andrews, S.C (2017). Families affected by Huntington&rsquos Disease report difficulties in Communication, Emotional Involvement and Problem Solving. Journal of Huntington's Disease, 6, 169-177.

Anwar, N.Labuschagne, I., Simpson,K., Smith, L., Georgiou-Karistianis, N (2017). Impairments in spatiotemporal gait adaptation during obstacle navigation in Huntington&rsquos disease. Neurorehabilitation & Neural Repair, 31, 934-943. doi: 10.1177/1545968317736818

Guimmarra, M., Poudel, G., Pei-Tsze, A.N., Nicholls, M.E.R., Fielding, J., Verdejo-Garcia, A., Labuschagne, I. (2017). Emotion processing in persons who respond vicariously towards others in pain: Disinhibited left-lateralised neural activity for threatening expressions. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition. Accepted June 28 2017.

Tracy, L.Labuschagne, I., Georgiou-Karistianis, Gibson, S. J., Giummarra, M. J. (2017). Sex-specific effects of intranasal oxytocin on thermal pain perception: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 83, 101-110.

Kordsachia CLabuschagne I, Stout JC. (2017). Abnormal visual scanning of emotionally evocative nature scenes in Huntington&rsquos disease. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 405.

Kordsachia, C., Labuschagne, I., Stout, J.C. (2017). Beyond Emotion Recognition Deficits: A Theory Guided Analysis of Emotion Processing in Huntington&rsquos Disease. Neurosc & Biobehav Reviews, 73, 276-292.

Biernacki, K., McLennan, S.N., Terrett, G., Labuschagne, I., Rendell, P.G. (2016). Decision-making ability in current and past users of opiates: a meta-analysis. Neurosc & Biobehav Reviews, 71, 342-351. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.09.011

Haines SJ, Gleeson, J, Kuppens P, Hollenstein T, Ciarrochi J, Labuschagne I, Grace C, Koval P (2016). The Wisdom to Know the Difference: Emotion Regulation Strategy-Situation Fit in Daily Life is Associated with Well-Being. Psychological Science, 27 (12), 1651-1659.

Labuschagne I, Cassidy A, Scahill RI, Johnson E, Rees E, O&rsquoRegan A, Queller S, Frost C, Leavitt BR, Dürr A, Roos R, Owen G, Borowsky B, Tabrizi SJ, Stout JC. (2016). Visuospatial processing deficits linked to posterior brain regions in premanifest and early stage Huntington&rsquos disease. JINS, 22, 595-608.

Carson, D.S., Yuan, H., Labuschagne, I. Commentary on Leng and Ludwig (2016): Improving research standards to restore trust in intranasal oxytocin. Biological Psychiatry, 78, e53-e54.

Johnson, E. B., Rees, E. M., Labuschagne, I., Durr, A., Leavitt, BR, Roos RA, Reilmann R, Johnson H, Hobbs NZ, Langbehn DR, Stout JC, Tabrizi SJ, Scahill RI, TRACK-HD investigators (2015). The impact of occipital lobe cortical thickness on cognitive task performance : an investigation in Huntington&rsquos Disease. Neuropsychologia79 (PtA), 138-146.

Bartholomeusz C, Ganella E, Labuschagne I, Bousman I, Pantelis C. (2015). Effects of oxytocin and genetic variants on brain and behavior: implications for treatment for schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research168, 614-627.

Wise R, Phung AL, Labuschagne I, Stout JC. (2015). Differential effects of social stress on laboratory-based decision making are related to both impulsive personality traits and gender. Cognition and Emotion. 2014 Dec Ahead of print. 

Huntington Study Group Rearch2HD Investigators#. (2015). Safety, tolerabillty, and efficacy of PBT2 in Huntington disease: a phase 2, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The Lancet Neurology, 14, 39-47. #Labuschagne I listed as one of the investigators in extensive list at end of paper.

Gorka SM, Fitzgerald DA, Labuschagne I, Hosanagar A, Nathan PJ, Phan KL. (2015). Oxytocin Modulates Amygdala Functional Connectivity during Social Threat in Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology, 40, 278-286.

Jones R, Stout JC, Labuschagne I, Say M, Justo D, Coleman A, Dumas EM, Hart E, Owen G, Durr A, Leavitt BR, Roos R, O&rsquoRegan A, Langbehn D, Tabrizi SJ, Frost C. (2014). The potential of composite cognitive scores for tracking progression in Huntington&rsquos disease. Journal of Huntington&rsquos Disease, 3, 197-207.

Dodhia S, Hosanagar A, Fitzgerald DA, Labuschagne I, Wood A, Nathan PJ, Phan KL. Modulation of Resting-State Amygdala-Frontal Functional Connectivity by Oxytocin in Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology, 39, 2061-2069.

Papoutsi M, Labuschagne I, Tabrizi SJ, Stout JC. (2014). The cognitive burden in Huntington&rsquos disease: pathology, phenotype and mechanisms of compensation. Movement Disorders, 29, 673-683.

*Labuschagne I, *Rossell SL, Dunai J, Kyrios M, Castle DJ. (2014). Using theories of delusion formation to explain abnormal beliefs in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Psychiatry Research, 215, 599-605. *Equal first authors.

Labuschagne I, Rossell SL, Dunai J, Castle DJ, Kyrios M. (2013). A comparison of executive function in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Journal of Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders, 2(3), 257-262.

Labuschagne I, Jones R, Callaghan J, Whitehead D, Dumas EM, Say MJ, Hart EP, Justo D, Coleman A, Dar Santos RC, Frost C, Craufurd DI, Tabrizi SJ, Stout JC, and TRACK-HD investigators. (2013). Emotional face recognition deficits and medication effects in pre-manifest through stage-II Huntington&rsquos disease. Psychiatry Research, 207(1-2), 118-126.

Sripada CS, Phan KL, Labuschagne I, Welsh R, Nathan PJ, Wood AG. (2013). Oxytocin enhances resting state connectivity between amygdala and medial frontal cortex. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 16(2), 255-260.

Dumas EM, Say MJ, Jones R, Labuschagne I, O&rsquoRegan AM, Hart EP, van den Bogaard SJA, Queller S, Justo D, Coleman A, dar Santos RC, Durr A, Leavitt BR, Tabrizi SJ, Roos RAC, and Stout JC. (2012). Visual working memory impairment in premanifest gene carriers and early Huntington&rsquos disease. Journal of Huntington&rsquos disease, 1(1), 97-106.

Labuschagne I, Phan KL, Wood A, Angstadt M, Chua P, Heinrichs M, Stout J, Nathan PJ.  (2012). Medial frontal hyperactivity to sad faces in generalized social anxiety disorder and modulation by oxytocin. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 15(7), 883-896.

Stout JC, Jones R, Labuschagne I, O&rsquoRegan A, Say MJ, Dumas EM, Queller S, Justo D, Dar Santos R, Coleman A, Hart E, Durr A, Leavitt BR, Roos RAC, Langbehn DR, Tabrizi SJ, Frost C, and the TRACK-HD investigators (2012). Evaluation of longitudinal 12- and 24-month cognitive outcomes in premanifest and early Huntington&rsquos disease. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 83(7), 687-694.

Labuschagne I, Castle DJ, Rossell SL. (2011). What the cognitive deficits in body dysmorphic disorder tell us about the underlying neurobiology: an investigation of three cases. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 4(1), 21-33.

Labuschagne I, Phan KL, Wood A, Angstadt M, Chua P, Heinrichs M, Stout J, Nathan PJ. (2010). Oxytocin attenuates amygdala reactivity to fear in generalised social anxiety disorder.  Neuropsychopharmacology, 35, 2403-2413. 

Labuschagne I, Croft RJ, Phan KL, Nathan P. (2010).  Augmenting serotonin neurotransmission with citalopram modulates emotional expression decoding but not structural encoding of moderate intensity sad facial emotional stimuli: an event related potential (ERP) investigation. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 24(8), 1153-1164.

Dunai J, Labuschagne I, Castle DJ, Kyrios M, Rossell SL. (2010).  Executive function in body dysmorphic disorder. Psychological Medicine, 40, 1541-1548.

Labuschagne I, Castle DJ, Dunai J, Kyrios M, Rossell SL. (2010). An examination of delusional thinking and cognitive styles in body dysmorphic disorder. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 44, 706-712.

Kerestes R, Labuschagne I, Croft RJ, O&rsquoNeill BV, Bhagwagar Z, Phan KL, Nathan PJ. (2009). Evidence for modulation of facial emotional processing bias during emotional expression decoding by serotonergic and noradrenergic antidepressants: an event-related potential (ERP) study. Psychopharmacology(Berl), 202(4), 621-634.





My research examines the social cognitive processes in humans, and in particular, how psychiatric illnesses affect these processes. My research incorporates a variety of brain technologies (such as fMRI, DTI, EEG, EMG, and tDCS), cognitive assessments, and neuropsychopharmacological manipulations. I have conducted randomised and double-blind placebo-controlled trials in humans investigating the effects of antidepressants such as SSRIs, serotonergic precursors such as tryptophan, and more recently, neuropeptides such as oxytocin. My research uses both healthy as well as clinical samples, with a particular focus on Ageing, Social Anxiety Disorder and Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Using a variety of research methods, I strive to understand the neurobiological mechanisms implicated in dysfunctional social cognitive processes in humans, with an aim to improve quality of life and develop more refined and targeted treatment options for mental health disorders.

I am always looking for PhD students, so please contact me if interested in my topics. 

The following topics are my priority areas for the next years:

  • Oxytocin and brain mechanisms in Social Anxiety Disorder - using MRI, EEG and genetics
  • Intranasal oxytocin in Social Anxiety Disorder - dosage, chronic administration, therapeutic alliance
  • Oxytocin mechanisms in Healthy Ageing - social interactions, grandparent-grandchildren relationships, MRI
  • Fear and emotion processing in Social Anxiety Disorder - MRI, EEG







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