Neuroscience Research Group
A major challenge for Science in the 21st century is understanding the human brain and its neural processes. Success in this endeavour will enhance human potential, lead to improved preventative strategies and treatments for a variety of neural disorders, and a better health outcome for the nation. The probability of success has been greatly enhanced in recent years by the development of new techniques for imaging the structure and function of the human brain, and increasingly realistic animal models of disorders involving complex genotype-environmental interactions.
The Neuroscience Research Group in the School of Psychology in recent years has invested heavily in the development of both imaging and other facilities for assessment of human brain function as well as specialised animal behaviour. It is now well positioned to address key research questions in understanding brain function and sensory systems.
Research conducted by the Neuroscience Group falls into four core areas: (i) Sensory systems incorporating development, plasticity and their evolution; (ii) Cognitive and affective Neuroscience, aimed at understanding the neural bases of high-level cognitive functions such as attention, memory, language processes, planning and decision-making as well as of emotion-related functions; (iii) Neuroimmunology, where researchers are looking at how neural by-products can influence peripheral immune suppression and what consequences this has for neural function; (iv) Developmental Neuroscience, including basic experimental studies aimed at contributing to the understanding of mechanisms of normal and abnormal neural development.
In addition to conducting basic research, there are a number of applied interests such as understanding the underlying causes of sensory abnormalities, exploring the neural circuits that underpin cognitive deficits in various clinical groups and the impact of early life events such as exposure to bacteria, on lifelong susceptibility to disease.
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Director: Professor Peter Walla
- A/Prof Deb Hodgson
- A/Prof Mick Hunter
- Dr Andrea Griffin
- Dr Bill Budd
- Dr Frini Karayanidis
- Dr Juanita Todd
- Mr Tony Kemp
- Dr Karen Drysdale