Brain and Mind Sciences

Unit of study descriptions for 2015

BMRI5001 Hist, Phil & Ethics of Brain & Mind Sci

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Max Bennett, Dr Claire: Hooker Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x 2-hr lecture/week Assessment: online discussions (30%), essay introduction (10%), final essay (60%), Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Note: This is a capstone unit of study.
The history and philosophy section of this unit examines the conceptual foundations of cognitive neuroscience from ancient times to the enlightenment to the 20th Century, how concepts of brain, mind and self have changed over time and by culture. This understanding will give students the ability to critically assess modern issues of mental health in a cultural context. The ethics section of the unit focuses on areas of brain research and clinical practice that remain ethically problematic and attempts to grapple with this from legal perspective. Amongst the issues dealt with will be mental capacity for consent, definitions of personhood and death, and the ethics of healthcare delivery. The scope of these questions is enormous and the majority of cultural and legal standards have not kept up with the pace of scientific and philosophical understanding of these issues of brain and mind. This is capstone unit of study that will require students to develop over the semester an original piece of scholarship on one of the issues raised by the lectures. The student will first need to identify an area of interest and justify in a brief introductory submission the rationale for investigating it. This will receive academic feedback and serve as the basis for the final essay, which will require significant research and critique of the relevant literature.
BMRI5002 Fundamental Neuroscience

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Daniel Brown Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x 2-hr lecture/week Prerequisites: Assumed knowledge: Cell biology up to first year level Assumed knowledge: Cell biology up to first year level Assessment: test (30%), extended response questions (30%), short answer questions (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
This core unit of study will introduce the main concepts of neurobiology starting with neural cell structure and physiology, neurodevelopment and synaptic plasticity. The modularity of the brain and connective pathways will then be examined with a focus of the functional anatomy of sensory processing, the basal ganglia and the limbic system. Immunology and neuropathology will also be studied with insights into how genetics and interaction with glial cells underlie these processes. Examples will be given of how brain disorders emerge from disruption to these fundamental processes.
Textbooks
Recommend either
BMRI5004 Translational and Clinical Neuroscience

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Daniel Hermens Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x 2-hr lecture/week Assessment: essay (30%), case study analysis (30%), extended response questions (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Note: This is a core unit of study.
This unit of study introduces the principal disorders of mental health and current methods for diagnosing and understanding them. Disorders of development, mood, personality and cognitive decline will be introduced from the perspective of the clinical staging. This model attempts to identify the risks of such disorders emerging and progressing in individuals when all biopsychosocial variables are considered. In this way, windows for therapeutic intervention that would prevent or delay progression from earlier to later stages of a disorder can be defined. The unit will also describe fundamental principles of clinicopathology and some of the latest understanding of early diagnostic biomarkers for disease and novel applications of neuroimaging and spectroscopy will be discussed in this context.
BMRI5006 Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Adam Guastella Session: Semester 2 Classes: 12pm-2pm Monday week 2, 9am-5pm Wednesday weeks 4, 8 and 11 Assessment: online test (20%), case study analysis (40%), extended response questions (40%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy for a range of psychological disorders, with strong foundations in cognitive science and now increasingly in neuroscience. This unit provides a solid foundation in the theoretical and clinical underpinnings of the therapy, with a specific focus on the neuroscience of CBT as applied to various conditions. It demonstrates techniques of CBT, including case assessment, formulation, and therapy components. Students will develop a neurobiological understanding of CBT interventions and examine practice through case examination and group exercises.
BMRI5007 Neuropsychology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Sharon Naismith Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x 2-hr lecture/week Assessment: essay (40%), case study analysis (40%), group presentation (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
This unit of study will enable students to understand the basic principles of brain behaviour relationships that underpin assessment of brain disorders across the age span. A wide range of neuropsychological syndromes, neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders will be examined. The unit of study will outline procedures for integrating medical, psychological and social information into neuropsychological assessment through case based learning. At the end of the unit of study you will have an awareness of the 'state of the art' in neuropsychological intervention/rehabilitation strategies for people with acquired brain impairment.
BMRI5010 Brain and Mind Disorders in Childhood

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Rapael Chan Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week Assessment: short answer questions (30%), extended response (30%), essay (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
This unit of study provides an understanding of child development from conception to adolescence, looking at key genetic, psychological and environmental factors that contribute to clinical disorder. Classic pathologies such as mood disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorders will be examined, as well as other forms of learning difficulty and cognitive impairment. The unit will discuss the influence on child development of familial, educational, social, economic and environmental and range of targeted interventions relevant to these groups. Students will also be introduced to strategies for holistic care and the importance of working with services including health, education and welfare. Part of this experience includes a site visit to a clinical centre to observe a diagnosis session taking place.
BMRI5011 Brain and Mind Disorders in Youth

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Daniel Hermens Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week Assessment: extended response questions (30%), group presentation (30%), essay (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
The brain undergoes significant changes during the adolescent period, particularly the frontal and temporal lobes. Brain maturation is reflected by a movement from immature and childlike cognitive processes and impulsive behaviour towards more mature and sophisticated behaviour, cognitive processes and mood regulation. This progression in maturation is dependant on the continuing active development of the underlying brain structures. This unit of study will provide you with an understanding of the final phase of brain development, associated with the shift from the development of new connections (in childhood) to the pruning of connections and organisation of neural networks. The effects of puberty and gene-environment interactions will also be explored. Investigating these underlying brain processes is critical to our understanding of the development of emerging adolescent and adult psychiatric disorders.
BMRI5012 Brain Ageing

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Michael Valenzuela Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week Assessment: extended response questions (40%), case study analysis (40%), group presentation (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
This unit of study provides an introduction to two important aspects of brain and mind ageing science ¿ neurodegenerative disorders and opportunities for neuroplasticity and human flourishing. Students will learn about the clinical presentation and pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer¿s disease, Parkinson¿s disease, vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia. Psychogeriatrics and late¿life depression will also be covered, and counterbalanced with new insights about what determines successful ageing and how we can use lifestyle interventions to keep people's brains and minds fit and well throughout late life. This unit will use case studies to reinforce learning, focusing on common neuropsychological assessment methods and research methods. Students will also be introduced to the social and ethical aspects of brain and mind ageing.
BMRI5013 Neuropsychopharmacology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Sonia Kumar Session: Semester 1 Classes: one day workshop in weeks 2, 7 and 10 Assessment: student presentation (25%), research comprehension (30%), literature review (45%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This elective unit will focus on neuropsychopharmacology as a tool for characterising brain pathways and as a treatment for brain disorders. Students will be introduced to basic principles of pharmacology governing drug binding and metabolism that underlie the rationale for drug design. Links between brain circuitry and phenomenology of anxiety, depression, psychosis and addiction will be examined to provide a rationale for chosen drug targets. Students will also examine the relationship between dosage, specificity and negative side effects of such drugs and how to evaluate costs and benefits of drug treatment in model scenarios. Drugs of abuse will be examined in detail from the level of animal models to clinical trials for suppressing addiction.
BMRI5017 Genetics of Brain and Mind Disorders

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Thomas Becker Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2hr seminar week 1, one day workshop week 4, 8 and 12 Assessment: research report part 1 (30%), research report part 2 (40%), extended response questions (30%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: This is a capstone unit of study.
This unit of study provides a comprehensive introduction to the research methods involved in identification and characterisation of genetic variants underlying neuropsychiatric disorders. The first part of the unit will focus on the statistical methods to quantify the contribution of genetic factors to disorders in the population. Heredity and epidemiology of neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders will be discussed. The course will then discuss concepts of genetic architecture and linkage and students will learn to use bioinformatics tools. Methods used to examine and control gene expression in animal models will also be explored. This is capstone unit of study that will require students to develop over the semester an original piece of scholarship on one of the issues raised by the lectures. Through the course students use bioinformatics tools to study gene regions inherited with a disorder of interest and validate candidate gene. The research report will be carried out in two parts over semester and will require significant research and critique of the relevant literature.
Textbooks
Strachan, T., Read, A. (2011) Human Molecular Genetics 4th Ed. Garland Science
BMRI5020 Research Inquiry

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Professor Loyola Mclean Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week Prerequisites: Assumed Knowledge: Basic understanding of statistics Assessment: journal club (10%), short answer questions (20%), extended response questions (30%), 2hr exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Note: This is a core unit of study for the Masters degree only.
Doctors and researchers depend on the latest scientific literature published week by week in countless different journals, but not every study can be trusted. Scientific studies are fraught with complications that can threaten their reliability, or the extent to which their results can be applied very widely. This unit will help you develop the skills necessary to critically appraise the research literature and identify sources of bias and confounding. You will learn how cross-sectional studies, case-control studies, cohort studies and clinical trials are more or less vulnerable to these problems. Similarly, you will look at the basic design of laboratory research, and what are the different types of questions that can be asked from studies on humans, rats or brain tissue. All classes will be based on published examples of research literature and you will learn how to navigate different methods and data types. This unit will give you the confidence to read widely across the mental health field, and judge for yourself which findings can be relied upon to inform future research or medical practice.
Textbooks
Prince, Martin (2003) Practical Psychiatric Epidemiology, Oxford University Press.
BMRI5023 Research Activity 1

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Amit Lampit Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 10.5 hours per week Corequisites: BMRI5024 Assessment: presentation (10%), draft results section (10%), thesis (40%), supervisor evaluation (40%) Mode of delivery: Field experience
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: This is a capstone unit of study and requires departmental permission.
This unit of study requires students to develop over the semester an original piece of research and provides a capstone experience for those wishing to go on to further postgraduate research. This practical project is based in a research group at the Brain and Mind Research Institute which deal variously with clinical research questions, epidemiology and fundamental neuroscience research. This unit is to be taken along with BMRI5024 in a given semester, and the 12 credit points combined carry the expectation of around 3 days per week availability towards the given research project. Students will learn a variety of skills for acquisition and analysis and presentation of data particular to their field. As part of the assessment for the units of study students will present and introduction to their both in a seminar setting and in the format of a journal research publication for their final 4000 word thesis. Potential research projects will be presented to students early in semester 1 so that students can familiarize themselves with the research being conducted at the BMRI. Acceptance to a given project will be selective depending on the relevant skills of student to the project and will require departmental permission.
BMRI5024 Research Activity 2

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Amit Lampit Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 10.5 hours/wk Corequisites: BMRI5023 Assessment: presentation (10%), draft results section (10%), thesis (40%), supervisor evaluation (40%) Mode of delivery: Field experience
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: This is a capstone unit of study and requires departmental permission.
This unit of study requires students to develop over the semester an original piece of research and provides a capstone experience for those wishing to go on to further postgraduate research. This practical project is based in a research group at the Brain and Mind Research Institute which deal variously with clinical research questions, epidemiology and fundamental neuroscience research. This unit is to be taken along with BMRI5023 in a given semester, and the 12 credit points combined carry the expectation of around 3 days per week availability towards the given research project. Students will learn a variety of skills for acquisition and analysis and presentation of data particular to their field. As part of the assessment for the units of study students will present and introduction to their both in a seminar setting and in the format of a journal research publication for their final 4000 word thesis. Potential research projects will be presented to students early in semester 1 so that students can familiarize themselves with the research being conducted at the BMRI. Acceptance to a given project will be selective depending on the relevant skills of student to the project and will require departmental permission.
BMRI5026 Suicide and Suicide Prevention

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Adj Assoc Prof John Mendoza Session: Semester 1 Classes: 9am-5pm Saturday and Sunday 9am-12.30pm weeks 2 and 7, 9am-5pm Friday week 13 Assessment: opinion piece (30%), needs assessment (20%), implementation plan (40%), participation (10%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit is designed to provide students with an introduction to the topics of self-harm, suicide and suicide prevention in Australia. It will specifically provide students with a sound knowledge and understanding of suicide, suicidal behavior and self-harm and the relationships and differences between these three areas. Students will examine prevalence, risk factors and sub-populations, and evidence on what works to reduce suicide and suicidal risk. Students will also have the opportunity to develop communications skills for effectively responding to someone at risk of suicide. They will be given the opportunity to demonstrate and apply their learning through developing an intervention or 'pathway to care' for their particular work settings contexts.
BMRI5027 Leadership and Policy in Mental Health 1

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Adj Assoc Prof John Mendoza Session: Semester 2 Classes: : 9am-5pm Friday and Saturday 9am-12.30pm weeks 2 and 7, 9am-5pm Friday week 13 Assessment: leadership assessment and self development plan (25%), scenario analysis (25%), change management and implementation plan (40%), participation (10%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: This is a capstone unit of study and requires departmental permission.
This capstone unit examines the key constructs of leadership, leadership development and change management with specific reference to mental health reform in Australia. Students will gain an understanding of leadership, leadership development, their own leadership attributes and developmental needs.

Students will also gain an insight into the development of strategy, organizational level policy and governance for achieving change. These elements will provide the foundations for self-development as a leader and the development of service level change/reform initiatives. Under supervision, students are assessed on the application of theoretical constructs and models, and will produce a significant scholarly project of change management and implementation in their own work setting or context.