The UTAS CogNeuro Group – Cognitive Neuroscience, Biology and Behaviour
Our research focuses on the neural correlates of cognitive processes such as attention and memory, including the role of attention in fear and anxiety, substance use, and reading ability, and the effects of meditation, stress, psychoactive substances and cognitive training on cognitive and biological processes. We examine psychophysiological, hormonal, and genetic influences and measure brain activity (EEG/ERP) to examine specific cognitive processes and brain states.
- EEG / ERPs
- Neural mechanisms of attention
- Fear, anxiety, and extinction learning
- Substance use and cognition
- Cognitive enhancers and cognitive training
- Social and affective neuroscience
The Role of Attention in Fear and Anxiety
Anxiety-related conditions are associated with enhanced automatic attentional biases towards threat and reduced attentional control by prefrontal areas of the brain. We aim to investigate these mechanisms in phobic fear and anxiety and examine how they are affected by meditation and exposure-based interventions. This research has implications for online and virtual reality exposure interventions for anxiety-related conditions.
The Relationship Between Cannabidiol, Noradrenaline and Cortisol in PTSD
In this project, stress induction and fear conditioning paradigms are used to examine the relationship between stress hormones and naturally occurring endocannabinoids. This research has implications for understanding and improving treatments for PTSD.
Cognitive Control and Attentional Biases in Heavy Drinkers: Neural mechanisms and Cognitive Training Interventions
Substance use is associated with differences in how we attend to information and inhibit our behaviour. In this project, we aim to uncover the role of neural mechanisms and determine whether these cognitive processes can be changed through cognitive training.
The effects of Mindfulness Meditation, Video Games, and Cognitive Training on Attention.
We aim to examine the effects of interventions such as meditation, video games and cognitive training interventions on the neural correlates of attentional processes such as alerting, orienting and cognitive control. This research has implications for dyslexia, ADHD, neuropsychological rehabilitation, and anxiety-related conditions.