Dr. Olivia Harrison (née Faull)


Translational Neuromodeling Unit
Institute for Biomedical Engineering
University of Zurich and ETH Zurich
Olivia Harrison (née Faull)






Olivia's research focusses on interoception and conscious perceptions of breathing. Having studied Neuroscience and Exercise Physiology as an Undergraduate at Otago University in New Zealand, Olivia moved to the UK to complete her DPhil at Oxford University. Her Doctoral Thesis used ultra-high field functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to consider targeted nuclei in the brainstem and cortex, which are thought to be key in breathing control and perception but had previously only been accessible in animal models.

Since moving to Zurich in 2018 as a Postdoctoral Researcher, Olivia is looking to apply predictive coding models to better understand how the brain perceives and learns about changes in our breathing. Furthermore, Olivia is interested in how learning and perceiving our bodily state may be altered with psychological traits such as anxiety, to better target these processes for greater treatment success in future therapies.

Research Funding

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship: 2018-2020

JABBS Grant for Postdoctoral research: 2015-2017

Commonwealth PhD Scholarship: 2012-2015

Selected Publications

Faull, O. K., Subramanian, H., Ezra, M., & Pattinson, K. T. (2019). The periaqueductal gray as an integrative and interoceptive neural structure for breathing. Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews98.

Faull, O. K., Cox, P. J., & Pattinson, K. T. (2018). Cortical processing of breathing perceptions in the athletic brain. NeuroImage, 179.

Faull, O. K., Hayen, A., & Pattinson, K. T. (2017). Breathlessness and the body: Neuroimaging clues for the inferential leap. Cortex, 95.

Faull, O. K., & Pattinson, K. T. (2017). The cortical connectivity of the periaqueductal gray and the conditioned response to the threat of breathlessness. Elife6.

Faull, O. K., Jenkinson, M., Ezra, M., & Pattinson, K. T. (2016). Conditioned respiratory threat in the subdivisions of the human periaqueductal gray. Elife5.

Faull, O. K., Cox, P. J., & Pattinson, K. T. (2016). Psychophysical differences in ventilatory awareness and breathlessness between athletes and sedentary individuals. Frontiers in Physiology, 7, 231.

Faull, O. K., Jenkinson, M., Clare, S., & Pattinson, K. T. (2015). Functional subdivision of the human periaqueductal grey in respiratory control using 7 Tesla fMRI. NeuroImage, 113.