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
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
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
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
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
Eye movements in neurodegenerative disease Project Leader Associate Professor Larry Abel Optometry and Vision Sciences
Imaging Retinal Cells Human Unit Lab Director Associate Professor Andrew Metha
Optometry and Vision Sciences
Improving mobility after traumatic brain injury with ballistic strength training Project Leader Associate Professor Jennifer McGinley Physiotherapy
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
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
Optimising the Capability of the Allied Health Workforce within Cancer Prehabilitation Project Leader Professor Lynette Joubert Social Work
Practice Research Program in Health and Mental Health Head of Research Group 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
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
Using MRI to examine the human auditory brainstem Senior Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer Dr Bryony Nayagam Audiology and Speech Pathology

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