Sheila Gillard Crewther, BSc, MSc, Dip Ed, MA, BOptom, PhD

Professor of Neuroscience
Department of Psychology and Counselling
Director of Research
School of Psychology and Public Health
College of Science, Health and Engineering
La Trobe University
Melbourne, Victoria 3086, Australia


Professor Crewther began her studies at University of Melbourne then moved to the US to complete her PhD (Cortical Mechanisms of Neuroplasticity) in Neuroscience at Caltech under Nobel Prize Winner Professor Roger Sperry. Sheila has clinical qualifications in Optometry from UNSW and Neuropsychology and Education from UniMelb and these underlie her research into visual and cognitive neuroscience of neuroplasticity in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative anomalies. The aim is to use this knowledge to design better behavioural, educational and therapeutic management regimes for neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism, dyslexia and intellectual disability. Sheila currently has ~150 published papers and book chapters (most of which are to be found on PubMED or ResearchGate.

Research Interest

Her research interests include: Retinal physiology and its role in the aetiology of ocular pathology and refractive errors, The functional role of neuroinflammation and molecular biomarkers in behavioural depression post stroke and Psychophysics, brain imaging and electrophysiology as indicators of attention and depression in recovery following stroke.

Scientific Activities


1. Klistorner A, Crewther DP, Crewther SG. Separate magnocellular and parvocellular contributions from temporal analysis of the multifocal VEP. Vision Research. 1997; 37: 2161-2169. doi: 10.1016/S0042-6989(97)00003-5
2. Laycock R, Crewther SG. Towards an understanding of the role of the magnocellular advantage in fluent reading. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 2008; 32: 1494-1506. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2008.06.002
3. Laycock R, Crewther SG, Crewther DP. A role for the magnocellular advantage in visual impairments in neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. Neuroscience& Biobehavioral Reviews. 2007; 31: 363-376. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2006.10.003
4. Laycock R, Crewther DP, Fitzgerald PB, Crewther SG. Evidence for Fast Signals and Later Processing in Human V1/V2 and V5/MT+: A TMS Study of Motion Perception. Journal of Neurophysiology. 2007; 98: 1253-1262. doi: 10.1152/jn.00416.2007
5. Laycock R, Crewther DP, Fitzgerald PB, Crewther SG. TMS disruption of V5/MT+ suggests a role for the dorsal stream in reading. Experimental Brain Research. 2009; 197(1): 69-79.
6. Laycock R, Cross A, Di Nogare F, Crewther SG. Self-rated social skills predict visual perception: impairments in object discrimination requiring transient attention associated with high autistic tendency. Autism Research. 2014; 7: 104-111. doi: 10.1002/aur.1336
7. Barnard N, Crewther SG, and Crewther DP. Development of a magnocellular function in good and poor primary school- age readers. Optom Vis Sci. 1998; 75(1): 62-68.
8. Rutkowski JS, Crewther DP, Crewther SG. Change detection is impaired in children with dyslexia. Journal of Vision. 2003; 3(1): 95-105. doi: 10.1167/3.1.10
9. Crewther DP, Crewther SG. Neural site of strabismic amblyopia in cats: Spatial frequency deficit in primary cortical neurons. Experimental Brain Research. 1990; 79: 615-22. doi: 10.1007/BF00229329
10. Crewther SG, Liang H, Junghans BM, Crewther DP. Ionic control of ocular growth and refractive change. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2006; 103(42): 15663-15668. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0607241103