Brain and Mind Sciences

Unit of study descriptions for 2014

BMRI5001 Hist, Phil & Ethics of Brain & Mind Sci

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Max Bennett, Prof Ian Kerridge Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x 2-hr lecture/week Assessment: essay (40%), position paper (40%), online discussions (20%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) Evening
The history and philosophy section of this unit examines the conceptual foundations of cognitive neuroscience. These foundations are constituted by the relationships among the psychological concepts involved in investigations into the neural underpinnings of human cognitive, affective and volitional capacities. The ethics section examines the ethical considerations that arise from the rapid pace of research that has led to new ways of understanding brain function. The scope of these questions is enormous, and the majority of cultural, philosophical, ethical and legal standards have not kept up with the rapid pace of technology. The goal of this unit of study is to help students to identify key ethical, legal and social aspects of brain research in an attempt to develop protocols for thinking about potentially problematic areas. This knowledge will enhance the learner's ability to critically analyse given evidence to inform and improve scientific, clinical and mental health policy approaches to disorders of the brain and mind.
BMRI5002 Fundamental Neuroscience

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Daniel Brown Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x 2-hr lecture/week Assumed knowledge: Cell biology up to 1st year level Assessment: test (30%), extended response questions (30%), short answer questions (40%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) Evening
Note: This is a core unit of study.
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 the basal ganglia, the visual cortex 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 can 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%) Campus: Mallett Street 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%) Campus: Mallett Street 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%) Campus: Mallett Street 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 Daniel Hermens Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week; 1x clinic site visit Assessment: case study analysis (20%), 1.5 hr multiple choice exam (50%), essay (30%) Campus: Mallett Street 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%) Campus: Mallett Street 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 and Mind Disorders in Ageing

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Sharon Naismith Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week Assessment: extended response questions (40%), case study analysis (40%), group presentation (20%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) Evening
This unit of study is designed to provide an introduction to disorders of the brain and mind related to ageing. There will be a focus on both 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 in particular will also be examined, along with pharmacological and lifestyle interventions that can contribute to healthier brain ageing. The unit will use case studies to provide an understanding of the common assessment methods and research techniques used to characterize these conditions, and students will also develop a familiarity with the social an ethical aspects of these ageing related diseases.
BMRI5013 Neuropsychopharmacology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Tim Lambert, Prof Bernard Balleine Session: Semester 1 Classes: 9am-5pm Friday weeks 3, 6 and 11 Assessment: extended response questions (40%), poster presentation (30%), research proposal (30%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Block Mode
This elective unit will focus on neuropsychopharmacology as a tool for research and as a treatment for brain disorders. The unit will link aspects of basic preclinical science to clinical therapeutics with an emphasis on the addiction and psychotic disorders. Links between brain circuitry and phenomenology will be briefly examined, as well as models of understanding the benefits and costs (undesirable) actions of psychotropics, although the focus here will be on antipsychotics. Students will examine the side effects of psychotropics that either shorten life or reduce quality of life, with the focus on a tripartite model of understanding metabolic risk. This will incorporate concepts relating peripheral signalling, neurobiological modulation and homeostasis, and neurobehavioural/ neuropharmocological mechanisms that interface with these. This unit will examine the application of pharmacological tools for the characterisation of neural systems and psychological functions and provide a link between the hard neuroscience of psychotropics and the clinical reality experienced by patients.
BMRI5017 Genetics of Brain and Mind Disorders

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Thomas Becker Session: Semester 2 Classes: 12pm-2pm Monday week 2, 9am-5pm Monday weeks 4, 7 and 11 Assessment: lab report (30%), literature review (40%), extended response questions (30%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Block Mode
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 will be discussed. The course will then discuss concepts of genetic architecture and linkage and students will learn to use the bioinformatics tools involved in characterising this. Methods used to examine and control gene expression in animal models will also be explored. Through the course students will have the opportunity to investigate in depth the genetic etiology of a particular neuropsychiatric disorder of interest.
Textbooks
Strachan, T., Read, A. (2011) Human Molecular Genetics 4th Ed. Garland Science
BMRI5020 Research Inquiry

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Michele Cavazzini Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week Assumed knowledge: 1st year university statistics Assessment: journal club (10%), short answer questions (20%), extended response questions (30%), 2hr exam (40%) Campus: Mallett Street 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 but not every paper can be trusted. Scientific studies are fraught with complications that can threaten their reliability or their generalizability beyond the study setting. This unit will help students develop the skills necessary to critically appraise the research literature and identify sources of bias and confounding. Students will learn how cross-sectional studies, case-control studies, cohort studies and clinical trials are more or less vulnerable to these problems. Basic laboratory research will also be examined, specifically the different scope of experimental questions that can be asked from studies on humans, animals or brain tissue. All classes will be based on published examples of research literature and students will learn how to navigate different methods and data types. This unit will give students the confidence to read widely across the mental health field and judge for themselves 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 Michele Cavazzini Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 10.5 hours per week Corequisites: BMRI5024 Assumed knowledge: At discretion of particular supervisor. Assessment: presentation (10%), draft results section (10%), thesis (40%), supervisor evaluation (40%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Field Experience
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Students will be accepted based on availability of places and suitability of academic background
This is a practical based unit of study and will provide a capstone experience to those students wishing to go on to further postgraduate 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, analysis and presentation of data particular to their field of interest and will write up their project in the format of a research publication. Potential projects will be presented to students early in semester 1 so that students can familiarize themselves with the research being conducted at the BMRI. A variety of placements in clinical research groups and basic neuroscience laboratories may be possible depending on the background skills of student and the availability of given supervisors. Acceptance to a given project will be selective and will require departmental permission. There is one set of assessments for BMRI5023 and BMRI5024 (as described above).
BMRI5024 Research Activity 2

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Michele Cavazzini Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 10.5 hours/wk Corequisites: BMRI5023 Assumed knowledge: At discretion of particular supervisor Assessment: presentation (10%), draft results section (10%), thesis (40%), supervisor evaluation (40%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Field Experience
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Students will be accepted based on availability of places and suitability of academic background.
This is a practical based unit of study and will provide a capstone experience to those students wishing to go on to further postgraduate 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, analysis and presentation of data particular to their field of interest and will write up their project in the format of a research publication. Potential projects will be presented to students early in semester 1 so that students can familiarize themselves with the research being conducted at the BMRI. A variety of placements in clinical research groups and basic neuroscience laboratories may be possible depending on the background skills of student and the availability of given supervisors. Acceptance to a given project will be selective and will require departmental permission. There is one set of assessments for BMRI5023 and BMRI5024 (as described above).
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%) Campus: Mallett Street 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 Saturday and Sunday 9am-12.30pm weeks 2 and 7, 9am-5pm Friday week 13 Assessment: leadership assessment and self development plan (30%), scenario analysis (20%), change management and implementation plan (35%), participation (15%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Block Mode
This Unit of Study 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.
Students are predominately assessed on the application of the theoretical constructs and models to their own work settings or contexts.