Neuroscience & Mental Health

Neuroscience is one of the largest areas of study in modern biology.

The field of neuroscience encompasses understanding the fundamental organisation and principles of the nervous system, through complex neural systems and behaviours. Disorders of the brain and other neural tissues represent some of the leading causes of death and disability in Australia, and are a key research theme for the university as evidenced by the establishment of the Melbourne Neuroscience Institute and significant involvement in the Melbourne Brain Centre.

Our neuroscience research is strongly focused on sensory neuroscience (both vision and hearing), speech neuroscience and neurological rehabilitation. Our sensory and speech programs aim to improve understanding of how the brain performs neural computations, whether such processes are altered across the lifespan, as well as studying how normal neural processing is conducted by the peripheral sensory organs (eye and ear). Our neurological rehabilitation programs are directed to improving functional impairments and health related quality of life in individuals with acute and chronic neurological disorders including traumatic brain injury, stroke and Parkinson disease. We conduct a breadth of research directed to enhancing knowledge and future treatment of specific neurological disorders, in particular those affecting the sensory systems.

Groups / Projects Research Lead Dept / Centre
A clinical test of dark adaptation for age-related macular degeneration Project Leader Dr Michael Pianta Optometry and Vision Sciences
Analysing visual field data in macular disease Project Leader Dr Andrew Anderson Optometry and Vision Sciences
Application of stem cell-derived neurons to the deaf cochlea Senior Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer Dr Bryony Nayagam Audiology and Speech Pathology
Assessing novel compounds for diagnostic retinal imaging
Auditory deficits in autism Principle Investigator Associate Professor Gary Rance Audiology and Speech Pathology
Auditory Neuroscience Unit Senior Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer Dr Bryony Nayagam
Audiology and Speech Pathology
Bilateral and Binaural Hearing Dr Karyn Galvin
Audiology and Speech Pathology
Centre of Research Excellence – Newborn Medicine Project Leader Dr Alicia Spittle Physiotherapy
Children Dr Alicia Spittle
Physiotherapy
Clinical Psychophysics Unit Lab Director Professor Allison McKendrick
Optometry and Vision Sciences
Cochlear implantation for children with single-sided deafness or very asymmetrical hearing loss Dr Karyn Galvin Audiology and Speech Pathology
Comparing oculomotor decision-making models for halting inappropriate actions Project Leader Dr Andrew Anderson Optometry and Vision Sciences
Developing iPad home-monitoring platforms for multiple sclerosis assessment
Developing novel ocular biomarkers for drug testing and neurodegenerative disease of the CNS Optometry and Vision Sciences
Developmental Stuttering Dr Elaina Kefalianos Audiology and Speech Pathology
Diagnosis and management of Auditory Processing Disorder Principle Investigator Dani Tomlin Audiology and Speech Pathology
Directed Differentiation of stem cells to cochlear phenotypes Senior Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer Dr Bryony Nayagam Audiology and Speech Pathology
Disease modelling Senior Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer Dr Bryony Nayagam Audiology and Speech Pathology
Early detection and intervention for infants at high risk of motor impairments Project Leader Dr Alicia Spittle Physiotherapy
Effective strength training for walking in neurological rehabilitation Project Leader Associate Professor Jennifer McGinley Physiotherapy
Evaluation of vascular, glial and functional deficits in diabetic eye disease Optometry and Vision Sciences
Eye Movement Laboratory Lab Director Associate Professor Larry Abel
Optometry and Vision Sciences
Eye movements in neurodegenerative disease Project Leader Associate Professor Larry Abel Optometry and Vision Sciences
Genetics of speech and language Professor Angela Morgan Audiology and Speech Pathology
Getting back on track after the unexpected happens: decision making in predictable and unpredictable environments Project Leader Dr Andrew Anderson Optometry and Vision Sciences
Identification and Management of Hearing Disorders Associate Professor Gary Rance
Audiology and Speech Pathology
Identification and Management of Vestibular Disorders Dr Jessica Vitkovic
Audiology and Speech Pathology
Imaging Retinal Cells Human Unit Lab Director Associate Professor Andrew Metha
Optometry and Vision Sciences
Impact of childhood growth patterns & latent cardiovascular risk factors on the microcirculation in adult life Optometry and Vision Sciences
Improving mobility after traumatic brain injury with ballistic strength training Project Leader Associate Professor Jennifer McGinley Physiotherapy
In vivo physiological characterisation of Parkinson’s disease
Infant Discrimination and Early Acquisition of Language – the IDEAL study Principle Investigator Associate Professor Gary Rance Audiology and Speech Pathology
Investigating the benefits of bilateral cochlear implants for children and young adults and developing evidence-based clinical management practices Dr Karyn Galvin Audiology and Speech Pathology
Investigating the role of intracranial pressure in glaucoma Optometry and Vision Sciences
Learning and Teaching Laboratory Optometry and Vision Sciences
Living an active life with Parkinson’s disease Project Leader Associate Professor Jennifer McGinley Physiotherapy
Motor trajectories of children born <30 weeks’ gestation from birth to 5 years: early predictors and functional outcome Project Leader Dr Alicia Spittle Physiotherapy
National Vision Research Institute Lab Director Professor Michael Ibbotson
Optometry and Vision Sciences
Neural basis of childhood speech and language disorders Professor Angela Morgan Audiology and Speech Pathology
Neurologic bases of hearing impairment Principle Investigator Associate Professor Gary Rance Audiology and Speech Pathology
Neurological rehabilitation Associate Professor Jenny McGinley
Physiotherapy
Neuroscience of Speech Associate Professor Adam Vogel
Audiology and Speech Pathology
Ocular Biomarker Laboratory Lab Director Dr Christine Nguyen
Ocular Physiology Laboratory Lab Director Associate Professor Bang Bui
Optometry and Vision Sciences
Optimising the Capability of the Allied Health Workforce within Cancer Prehabilitation Project Leader Professor Lynette Joubert Social Work
Optological Laboratory Lab Director Dr Andrew J Anderson
Optometry and Vision Sciences
Practice Research Program in Health and Mental Health Head of Research Group Professor Lynette Joubert
Social Work
Promoting an improved patient experience in gynaecological cancer care Project Leader Professor Lynette Joubert Social Work
Pupillary Indicators of Fatigue Project Leader Associate Professor Larry Abel Optometry and Vision Sciences
Retinal structure and function in ageing and disease Project Leader Dr Michael Pianta Optometry and Vision Sciences
Retinal Structure and Function Laboratory Lab Director Dr Michael Pianta
Optometry and Vision Sciences
Speech and swallowing in Movement Disorders Associate Professor Adam Vogel Audiology and Speech Pathology
Speech as a marker of brain function Associate Professor Adam Vogel Audiology and Speech Pathology
Summer Internship Associate Professor Adam Vogel Audiology and Speech Pathology
The effect of intraocular pressure on retinal ganglion cell function Project Leader Dr Andrew Anderson Optometry and Vision Sciences
The feasibility of smart-phones in the early detection of cerebral palsy Project Leader Dr Alicia Spittle Physiotherapy
The impact of classroom environment on auditory comprehension and academic progress Principle Investigator Associate Professor Gary Rance Audiology and Speech Pathology
The long-term effects of conductive hearing loss Principal Investigator Ms Kelley Graydon Audiology and Speech Pathology
The role of fixational eye movements in spatial vision Project Leader Dr Andrew Anderson Optometry and Vision Sciences
Understanding progressive vision loss in the eye disease glaucoma Project Leader Dr Andrew Anderson Optometry and Vision Sciences
Understanding the role of blood pressure, vascular autoregulation in ageing and glaucoma Optometry and Vision Sciences
Using MRI to examine the human auditory brainstem Senior Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer Dr Bryony Nayagam Audiology and Speech Pathology
Using our novel model of glaucoma to understand if ganglion cells can recover from injury Optometry and Vision Sciences
Using the eye as a window into Alzheimer’s disease
Vision in migraine
Visual Functions Laboratory Optometry and Vision Sciences
Web-based preventive care intervention for preterm infants and their families – e-prem trial Project Leader Dr Alicia Spittle Physiotherapy
Wireless electroretinography and visual evoked potentials for central nervous system drug testing