Neuropsychology and biological psychology

Researchers in La Trobe's Department of Psychology and Counselling are world leaders in innovative neuropsychology and biological psychology research with real-world impact. We:

  • investigate the cognitive, emotional and behavioural sequelae of a wide range of clinical conditions including alcohol and substance use disorders, stroke, traumatic brain injury, learning difficulties, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and cancer
  • conduct clinical trials evaluating neuropsychological interventions for people affected by acquired brain injury, in collaboration with multidisciplinary neurorehabilitation researchers and clinicians across Australia
  • make ground-breaking discoveries about the biological mechanisms underpinning neurological and psychiatric disorders

Several of our researchers in this area also teach and/or supervise students in La Trobe's world-class postgraduate Clinical Neuropsychology training program, which has trained many of Australia's leading neuropsychology researchers, clinicians, and professional leaders. Our clinical neuropsychology researchers are all scientist-practitioners who focus on clinically relevant research questions, including methods for enhancing evidence-based practice and clinician competencies.

Neuropsychology and biological psychology research topics currently available for research students include:

Research topicResearchers
Alcohol and Drug related brain impairment; Drug effects on cognition; Impact of alcohol and other drug use on executive functions in adolescents and young adults Simon Crowe
Lauren Fitzpatrick
Alexia Pavlis
Assessment of neuropsychiatric disorders; Emotional processing and personality disorder Simon Crowe
Neuropsychological rehabilitation after acquired brain injury (e.g., stroke, traumatic brain injury) Dana Wong (eNACT research group)
Memory rehabilitation following stroke: Implementation into clinical practice Dana Wong
Developing and using outcome measures to evaluate the impact and value of neuropsychological assessment Dana Wong
Competencies in neuropsychology practice; clinical implementation of evidence-based neuropsychological assessment techniques and interventions Dana Wong
Alexia Pavlis
Simon Crowe
Lauren Fitzpatrick
Learning disorders in children, adolescents and young adults Alexia Pavlis
Consumer experiences within health care settings Alexia Pavlis
Dana Wong
Role of neurotransmitters in anxiety and depression Matthew Hale
Animal models of methamphetamine psychosis, schizophrenia and depression Maarten van den Buuse 
Role of the BDNF val66met polymorphism in cognition and sensory gating in humans Maarten van den Buuse
Relationships between employment, cognition, social support, exercise and stress levels on physiological and health outcomes Brad Wright
Atypical hemispheric lateralisation and interhemispheric communication in clinical disorders and sub clinical syndromes (ASD, AQ traits, depression, schizotypy, dyslexia) Annukka Lindell
Psychoneuroimmunology; Behavioural and physiological consequences of calorie restriction and of breast cancer Stephen Kent
Factors influencing unmet needs of cancer survivors and their families; cognition among cancer survivors; social isolation and cancer; the common sense model of illness and implications for resilience following a cancer diagnosis Carlene Wilson
Gemma Skaczkowski
Cognition in preclinical Alzheimer's disease; Subjective memory decline in older adults as a risk factor for future dementia; Neuropsychological interventions for older adults; Neuropsychological interventions for people with cancer-related cognitive impairment; Better understanding of cancer-related cognitive impairment; Consumer and clinician experiences of neuropsychological interventions Kerryn Pike
Pattern of cognitive decline-comparison between two different neurodegenerative disorders: Parkinson's disease and Fragile X Associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS); Relationships between motor dysfunctions and specific cognitive impairments in Parkinson's Disease; Identification of specific cognitive/behavioural changes in the carriers of small CGG repeat expansions in the FMR1 gene within the 'grey zone' range affected with parkinsonism which distinguish them from the idiopathic Parkinson's disease; Are subtle motor dysfunctions and/or cognitive deficits related to the regional brain white matter microstructure assessed by diffusion-weighted imaging in the non-FXTAS carriers of premutation in the FMR1 gene?Danuta Loesch-Mdzewska

Research group pages

eNACT research group

The eNACT Clinic brings together researchers and clinicians who work with people with acquired brain injury (ABI).