Dr Suresh Muthukumaraswamy



Suresh completed his PhD in psychology at the University of Auckland in 2005 after which he joined the newly established Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre as a post-doctoral fellow. In 2014 Suresh received a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship and has returned to Auckland where he works in The School of Pharmacy (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences).

Suresh is a Principal Investigator in the Centre for Brain Research and the Auckland Neuropsychopharmacology Research Group

Research | Current

Suresh’s main research interests are in understanding how therapies alter brain activity and in developing methodologies to measure these changes in both healthy individuals and patient groups. His previous studies have involved a range of compounds including hallucinogens (ketamine, LSD, psilocybin), anaesthetics (propofol, dexmedetomidine), anti-epileptics (vigabatrin, perampanel, tiagabine) and GABA-enhancers (zolpidem, gaboxadol). Suresh’s research has used a wide-range of neuroimaging techniques including magnetoencephalography, electroencephalography, functional magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Examples of current research projects include

   1. Simultaneous EEG/fMRI studies of ketamine and midazolam

   2. Brain imaging the effects of ketamine in treatment-resistant depression

   3. The use of rapid transcranial magnetic stimulation in treatment-resistant depression

   4. The effects of scopolamine in depression

Suresh has an extensive network of scientific and clinical collaborators in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom

Teaching | Current

Pharmacy 410 - Research Dissertation (Course co-ordinator)

Pharmacy 411

Psychology 305 - Human Neuroscience

Postgraduate supervision

Rachael Sumner (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Anna Forsyth (PhD student)

Rebecca McMillan (PhD student)

Kate Godfrey (PhD Student)

Joseph Chen (PhD student)

Sarah McGrannachan (Research Nurse)

Students interested in doing with research with Suresh are welcome to get in touch with him. Students doing research with Suresh will generally be exposed to human psychopharmacology research using EEG and/or fMRI. A background in neuroscience is preferable and a willingness to learn computational techniques (usually in MATLAB) essential.


Rutherford Discovery Fellowship (2014). Royal Society of New Zealand.


Postgraduate Advisor. School of Pharmacy.

Areas of expertise

Neuroimaging, neuropharmacology, psychopharmacology

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Editorial Board: NeuroImage

Editorial Board: AIMS Neuroscience

FMHS Postgraduate Studies Committee

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • McMillan, R., Forsyth, A., Campbell, D., Malpas, G., Maxwell, E., Dukart, J., ... Muthukumaraswamy, S. (2019). Temporal dynamics of the pharmacological MRI response to subanaesthetic ketamine in healthy volunteers: A simultaneous EEG/fMRI study. Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England), 33 (2), 219-229. 10.1177/0269881118822263
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rebecca McMillan
  • Sumner, R. L., Spriggs, M. J., McMillan, R. L., Sundram, F., Kirk, I. J., & Muthukumaraswamy, S. D. (2018). Neural plasticity is modified over the human menstrual cycle: Combined insight from sensory evoked potential LTP and repetition suppression. Neurobiology of learning and memory, 155, 422-434. 10.1016/j.nlm.2018.08.016
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rachael Sumner, Frederick Sundram, Ian Kirk
  • Godfrey, K. E. M., Gardner, A. C., Kwon, S., Chea, W., & Muthukumaraswamy, S. D. (2018). Differences in excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter levels between depressed patients and healthy controls: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of psychiatric research, 105, 33-44. 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2018.08.015
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kate Godfrey
  • Muthukumaraswamy, S. D., & Liley, D. T. (2018). 1/f electrophysiological spectra in resting and drug-induced states can be explained by the dynamics of multiple oscillatory relaxation processes. NeuroImage, 179, 582-595. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.06.068
  • Spriggs, M. J., Sumner, R. L., McMillan, R. L., Moran, R. J., Kirk, I. J., & Muthukumaraswamy, S. D. (2018). Indexing sensory plasticity: Evidence for distinct Predictive Coding and Hebbian learning mechanisms in the cerebral cortex. NeuroImage, 176, 290-300. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.04.060
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/43584
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ian Kirk, Meg Spriggs, Rebecca McMillan, Rachael Sumner
  • Sumner, R. L., McMillan, R. L., Shaw, A. D., Singh, K. D., Sundram, F., & Muthukumaraswamy, S. D. (2018). Peak visual gamma frequency is modified across the healthy menstrual cycle. Human brain mapping, 39 (8), 3187-3202. 10.1002/hbm.24069
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rachael Sumner, Frederick Sundram
  • Muthukumaraswamy, S. D., Routley, B., Droog, W., Singh, K. D., & Hamandi, K. (2016). The effects of AMPA blockade on the spectral profile of human early visual cortex recordings studied with non-invasive MEG. Cortex, 81, 266-275. 10.1016/j.cortex.2016.03.004
  • Tagliazucchi, E., Roseman, L., Kaelen, M., Orban, C., Muthukumaraswamy, S. D., Murphy, K., ... Crossley, N. (2016). Increased global functional connectivity correlates with LSD-induced ego dissolution. Current Biology, 26 (8), 1043-1050. 10.1016/j.cub.2016.02.010


Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 505 - Bldg 505
Level 3, Room 327C
New Zealand

Secondary office location

Level B, Room B00C11
New Zealand

Web links