Brain and Mind Sciences

 

Brain and Mind Sciences

Core units

BMRI5002 Fundamental Neuroscience

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Rachel Tan Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x 2-hr lecture/week Assumed knowledge: Cell biology up to first year level Assessment: Online Modules MCQ (5%), Online Test (25%), extended response (30%), Online Exam (40%) 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 cell physiology, synaptic plasticity, neurodevelopment and neuroanatomy. The modularity of the brain and connective pathways will then be examined with a focus of the functional anatomy of sensory processing, motor systems, learning, memory and emotions. 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
Recommended Textbook: Kandel ER, Schwartz JH and Jessel TM (2013) Principles of Neural Science (5th ed.) McGraw Hill.
BMRI5004 Translational and Clinical Neuroscience

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Shantel Duffy Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x 2-hr lecture/week Assessment: Essay (30%), case study analysis (30%), literature review (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.
Textbooks
Specific reference material listed on eLearning

Additional core unit of study for master's students

BMRI5020 Research Inquiry

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Eryn Werry Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week Assumed knowledge: Basic understanding of statistics Assessment: Journal club and online tasks (20%), extended response questions (35%), exam (45%) 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. Students will learn how cross-sectional studies, case-control studies, cohort studies and clinical trials are more or less vulnerable to these problems. Similarly, students 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 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 yourself which findings can be relied upon to inform future research or medical practice.
Textbooks
Prince, Martin (2003) Practical Psychiatric Epidemiology, Oxford University Press.

Elective units

BMRI5010 Brain and Mind Disorders (Child/Youth)

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Raphael Chan Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week Assessment: Extended response (30%), extended response (30%), essay (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
This unit of study will address key neurobiological, psychological and environmental contributions and their interactions on child and adolescent brain development from a clinical perspective. Students will be introduced to neurodevelopmental disorders affecting infants, children and youth, including Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and a range of emergent mental disorders such as Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Psychotic Disorders, Sleep Disorders and Somatic Symptom Disorders. The aetiology, phenomenology and treatment of these mental disorders are considered in the context of developmental continuities and brain maturational processes throughout infancy, childhood and adolescence. Finally, students will understand the principles of pharmacological, psychological and family management of these disorders, including models of service delivery in child and youth mental health. The unit of study will be conducted as a series of two-hour seminars presented by senior clinicians and researchers in the field from the Brain and Mind Centre, Headspace Camperdown, and expert guest lecturers from other services/institutions.
Textbooks
Rey, J. M. (Ed.). (2015). IACAPAP e-textbook of child and adolescent mental health. Geneva, Switzerland: International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions. Open access publication: http://iacapap.org/iacapap-textbook-of-child-and-adolescent-mental-health
BMRI5013 Neuropsychopharmacology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Eryn Werry Session: Semester 1 Classes: one day workshop in weeks 2, 6 and 11 Assessment: Online quiz (30%), Report (40%), Oral presentation (30%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This elective unit will focus on neuropsychopharmacology as a tool for characterizing 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 various brain disorders including chronic pain, anxiety and dementia 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. There will be the opportunity critically to examine current directions in neuropharmacology research, the role of the pharmaceutical industry and potential new pathways for future drug design.
Textbooks
Specific reference material listed on eLearning
BMRI5001 Neuroethics

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Cynthia Forlini Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x 2-hr lecture/week Assessment: Class discussions (5%), open peer commentary (10%), abstract (5%), position paper 1 (40%), position paper 2 (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Note: This is a capstone unit of study for the Master in Brain and Mind Sciences and Master of Medicine (Psychiatry).
This unit of study synthesizes and critically scruitinizes our models and concepts of brain and mind through a neuroethics lens. Neuroethics is sub-field of bioethics that is concerned with the ethical, legal and social impact of the neurosciences. Beginning with a module on the historical development of modern neuroscience, students will learn about the beliefs, experiements and discoveries that have led us to recognise how the brain contributes to the human experience in unique ways. Throughout this unit, students will examine how advances in neuroscience have shaped how we conduct research, treat clinical conditions, make individual and collective decisions, and live together as a society. During the class discussions and assessments, students will grapple with the issues that arise when we intervene in the brain and how those interventions modify our concepts of health, illness, identity and morality. The scope of these issues is enormous and speaks to the importance of students developing a clear framework to contextualize developments in neuroscience within the scientific, ethical, cultural, social and legal environments in which they arise.
Textbooks
Specific reference material listed on eLearning
BMRI5006 Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Adam Guastella Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2 hr lecture week 2, 9am-5pm Wednesday weeks 4, 8 and 12 Assessment: Online quiz (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.
Textbooks
Specific reference material listed on eLearning
BMRI5007 Neuropsychology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Professor Sharon Naismith Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x 2-hr lecture/week Assessment: Essay (40%), oral case presentation (15%), client report (45%) 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 enable you to develop skills in 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.
Textbooks
Specific reference material listed on eLearning
BMRI5012 Brain Ageing

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Professor Michael Valenzuela and Dr Jacqueline Huber Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week Assessment: Extended response questions (40%), case study analysis (40%), oral 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.
Textbooks
Specific reference material listed on eLearning
BMRI5017 Genetics of Brain and Mind Disorders

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Professor Marina Kennerson Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2hr seminar week 2, one day workshop week 5, 9 and 11 Assessment: Lab report (40%), journal article (60%) 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 that can be used in the identification and characterisation of genetic variants underlying neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. The first part of the unit will focus on the statistical methods to quantify the contribution of genetic factors to complex genetic disorders in the population. The principles of genetic association will be discussed, using examples of neurodegenerative disorders. The course will then discuss concepts of gene mapping for Mendelian diseases using linkage analysis and the identification of causative variants using filtering strategies of next generation sequencing data. Students will learn to use a suite of bioinformatics tools and resources. This is a capstone unit of study that will require students to develop over the semester a scholarly piece of work using advanced bioinformatics skills. Over the assessments in this unit, students will identify genetic variants associated with a neurodegeneration-related trait, map and identify possible causative genes for a Mendelian neurodegenerative disease, examine the suitability of gene DNA variants as disease candidates using bioinformatics, and propose future laboratory research that would confirm the role of this gene in disease.
Textbooks
Specific reference material listed on eLearning
BMRI5027 Leadership and Policy in Mental Health 1

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Professor John Mendoza Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 9am-5pm Friday and Saturday 9am-12.30pm weeks 2 and 7, 9am-5pm Friday week 12 Assessment: Leadership assessment and self development plan (30%), scenario analysis (20%), change initiative and implementation plan (40%), participation (10%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: This is a capstone unit of study
This unit is designed to provide participants with an introduction to the key constructs of leadership, leadership development and change management with specific reference to mental health reform in Australia. The unit will provide an overview of concepts and models of leadership and change management and an opportunity to apply these to a personal leadership development plan to embark on a service-level reform initiative. In this unit participants will gain an understanding of, their own leadership attributes and developmental needs and an insight into the development of strategy, organisational 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.
Textbooks
Specific reference material listed on eLearning
BMRI5023 Research Activity 1

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Carol Dobson-Stone and Dr Cynthia Forlini Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 2 half day workshops across the semester and 10.5 hours per week Corequisites: BMRI5024 Assessment: Initial presentation (10%), thesis (40%), final presentation (10%), supervisor evaluation (40%) Practical field work: 3 days per week 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 Centre or affiliates which deal in areas of clinical, epidemiological and fundamental neuroscience research. The 12 credit points combined of BMRI5023/BMRII5024 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. This is a capstone unit of study requiring a great deal of independence and the production of an original piece of research scholarship. Students can also expect ample support and guidance from their supervisors and research team and are expected to integrate into their research team's environment.
BMRI5024 Research Activity 2

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Carol Dobson-Stone and Dr Cynthia Forlini Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 2 half day workshops across the semester and 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 Centre or affiliates which deal in areas of clinical, epidemiological and fundamental neuroscience research. The 12 credit points combined of BMRI5023/BMRI5024 carry the expectation of around 3 days per week availability towards the given research project. Students will learn a variety of skills for acquisition, anlysis and presentation of data. This is a capstone unit of study requiring a great deal of independence and the production of an original piece of research scholarship. Students can also expect ample support and guidance from their supervisors and research team and are expected to integrate into their research team's enviroment.