Jessica L. Hazelton

Jessica completed her Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) in 2015 at the University of Wollongong. She worked for several years as a full-time research assistant for A/Prof Fiona Kumfor within FRONTIER.

She is currently funded by an NHMRC Postgraduate Research Scholarship to complete her PhD candidature at the University of Sydney. Jessica's PhD research investigates social cognitive abilities in frontotemporal dementia and healthy ageing, with a focus on brain-body interactions. Her PhD supervisors are A/Prof. Fiona Kumfor and Prof. Olivier Piguet.

Forefront Group: FRONTIER Research Group

Supervisors: A/Prof Fiona Kumfor and Prof Olivier Piguet


  • Psychophysiology
  • Social cognition
  • Neuroimaging

Affiliate Organisations:

The School of Psychology, The University of Sydney Brain and Mind Centre, The University of Sydney

Neurodegeneration of interest:

FTD, AD, PD, Ageing

Project - The role of interoceptive processes in frontotemporal dementia

Disease area:


Research Project Description

  • Background:
    • FTD is characterised by prominent behaviour and/or language impairment, associated with damage to the fronto-insular and/or temporal lobes.
    • People living with FTD experience difficulties in emotion processing, which has a detrimental effect on their personal relationships and contributes to a high level of carer burden.
    • People living with FTD also experience changes to their physiological arousal and their awareness of these changes. How these changes influence emotion processing remains poorly understood. Better understanding of how these patient’s process important physiological from within their bodies will inform future intervention strategies for emotion processing.
    • Jessica’s PhD aims better characterise the relationship between physiological arousal and emotion processing in FTD using a combination of lab-based tasks, psychophysiological recording and neuroimaging techniques.
  • Methods:
    • Physiological recording (i.e., Heart rate, respiration, skin conductance, pupillometry)
    • Emotion processing tasks
    • MRI (i.e., voxel-based morphometry)

Key Publications from this project


Infographic / Medical Diagram / Scientific Diagram / Picture