Cognitive Neuroscience Unit

The School of Psychology's Cognitive Neuroscience Unit (CNU) is based at our Melbourne Burwood Campus.

Our researchers and students use cutting-edge techniques to investigate the relationship between brain function, behaviour and cognition.


The latest research techniques

At CNU we look at brain function in healthy and clinical populations.

Using novel neuroscience techniques and methods we conduct research around sleep, memory and emotions as well as conditions such as autism and language disorder.

We also conduct neuroimaging research, like fMRI and PET, at nearby facilities.

Our research areas include:

  • transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
  • transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
  • electroencephalography (EEG)
  • eye tracking
  • near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS)
  • gait analysis walkway
  • electromyography (EMG).

Our recent projects

  • Understanding the social brain through functional neuroimaging and brain stimulation.
  • The role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in verbal working memory and sentence comprehension.
  • The role of motor-related neural systems in determining motor competence.

Recent publications

Recent CNU publications

Fitzgibbon, B.M., Kirkovski, M., Fornito, A., Paton, B., Fitzgerald, P.B., Enticott, P.G.
Emotion processing fails to modulate putative mirror neuron response to trained visuomotor associations (2016) Neuropsychologia, 84, pp. 7-13. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.01.033

Barham, M.P., Enticott, P.G., Conduit, R., Lum, J.A.G. Transcranial electrical stimulation during sleep enhances declarative (but not procedural) memory consolidation: Evidence from a meta-analysis (2016) Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 63, pp. 65-77. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.01.009

Kirkovski, M., Enticott, P.G., Hughes, M.E., Rossell, S.L., Fitzgerald, P.B. Atypical Neural Activity in Males But Not Females with Autism Spectrum Disorder (2016) Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46 (3), pp. 954-963. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-015-2639-7

Corp, D.T., Rogers, M.A., Youssef, G.J., Pearce, A.J. The effect of dual-task difficulty on the inhibition of the motor cortex (2016) Experimental Brain Research, 234 (2), pp. 443-452. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84955678856&partnerID=40&md5=d7fe7dfe34a127b43eae89561814cd51
DOI: 10.1007/s00221-015-4479-2


Oberman, L.M., Enticott, P.G., Casanova, M.F., Rotenberg, A., Pascual-Leone, A., Mccracken, J.T., Ameis, S., Brock, D., Demitrack, M., Croarkin, P., Dawson, G., Wu, W., Gilbert, D., Hollander, E., Iacoboni, M., Lim, K., Mostofsky, S., Pedapati, E., Swedo, S., Taylor, K.H., Wang, P., Wall, C. Transcranial magnetic stimulation in autism spectrum disorder: Challenges, promise, and roadmap for future research (2016) Autism Research, 9 (2), pp. 184-203. DOI: 10.1002/aur.1567

Andrews, S.C., Enticott, P.G., Hoy, K.E., Thomson, R.H., Fitzgerald, P.B. Reduced mu suppression and altered motor resonance in euthymic bipolar disorder: Evidence for a dysfunctional mirror system? (2016) Social Neuroscience, 11 (1), pp. 60-71. DOI: 10.1080/17470919.2015.1029140

Rogers, M.A., Yamasue, H., Kasai, K. Antidepressant medication may moderate the effect of depression duration on hippocampus volume (2016) Journal of Psychophysiology, 30 (1), pp. 1-8. DOI: 10.1027/0269-8803/a000148

Fuelscher, I., Williams, J., Hyde, C. Developmental improvements in reaching correction efficiency are associated with an increased ability to represent action mentally (2015) Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 140, pp. 74-91. Cited 2 times. DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2015.06.013

Fuelscher, I., Williams, J., Enticott, P.G., Hyde, C. Reduced motor imagery efficiency is associated with online control difficulties in children with probable developmental coordination disorder (2015) Research in Developmental Disabilities, 45-46, pp. 239-252. DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2015.07.027

Donaldson, P.H., Rinehart, N.J., Enticott, P.G. Noninvasive stimulation of the temporoparietal junction: A systematic review (2015) Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 55, pp. 547-572. Cited 1 time. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2015.05.017

Donaldson, P.H., Gurvich, C., Fielding, J., Enticott, P.G. Exploring associations between gaze patterns and putative human mirror neuron system activity (2015) Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9 (JULY), art. no. 396, 10 p. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00396

Major, B.P., Rogers, M.A., Pearce, A.J. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation to quantify electrophysiological changes following concussive brain injury: A systematic review (2015) Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 42 (4), pp. 394-405. Cited 1 time. DOI: 10.1111/1440-1681.12363

Lum, J.A.G., Ullman, M.T., Conti-Ramsden, G. Verbal declarative memory impairments in specific language impairment are related to working memory deficits (2015) Brain and Language, 142, pp. 76-85. Cited 1 time. DOI: 10.1016/j.bandl.2015.01.008

Palmer, C.J., Paton, B., Kirkovski, M., Enticott, P.G., Hohwy, J. Context sensitivity in action decreases along the autism spectrum: A predictive processing perspective
(2015) Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282 (1802), art. no. 20141557, pp. 1-9. Cited 2 times. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1557

Ruddock, S., Piek, J., Sugden, D., Morris, S., Hyde, C., Caeyenberghs, K., Wilson, P.
Coupling online control and inhibitory systems in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder: Goal-directed reaching (2015) Research in Developmental Disabilities, 36, pp. 244-255. Cited 2 times. DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2014.10.013

Andrews, S.C., Enticott, P.G., Hoy, K.E., Thomson, R.H., Fitzgerald, P.B. No evidence for mirror system dysfunction in schizophrenia from a multimodal TMS/EEG study
(2015) Psychiatry Research, 228 (3), pp. 431-440. Cited 1 time. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.05.067

Verdejo-Garcia, A., Clark, L., Verdejo-Román, J., Albein-Urios, N., Martinez-Gonzalez, J.M., Gutierrez, B., Soriano-Mas, C. Neural substrates of cognitive flexibility in cocaine and gambling addictions (2015) British Journal of Psychiatry, 207 (2), pp. 158-164. Cited 1 time. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.114.152223

Bereznicki, H.G.K., Milosev, A., Pearce, A.J., Tooley, G.A., Enticott, P.G. Report of transient paresthesia following transcranial stimulation (2015) Brain Stimulation, 8 (3), pp. 675-676. DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2015.02.006

Corp, D.T., Rogers, M.A., Di Lazzaro, V., Pearce, A.J. Intrasession reliability of single and paired pulse TMS evoked from the Biceps Brachii representation of the human motor cortex (2015) Brain Stimulation, 8 (3), pp. 660-661. DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2015.01.402

Kirkovski, M., Enticott, P.G., Maller, J.J., Rossell, S.L., Fitzgerald, P.B. Diffusion tensor imaging reveals no white matter impairments among adults with autism spectrum disorder (2015) Psychiatry Research - Neuroimaging, 233 (1), pp. 64-72. Cited 1 time.
DOI: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2015.05.003

Verdejo-Garcia, A., Verdejo-Román, J., Albein-Urios, N., Martínez-González, J.M., Soriano-Mas, C. Brain substrates of social decision-making in dual diagnosis: Cocaine dependence and personality disorders (2015) Addiction Biology, . Article in Press.
DOI: 10.1111/adb.12318

Enticott, P.G. Toward a functional account of the human mirror system. Comment on "Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism" by A. D'Ausilio et al. (2015) Physics of Life Reviews, 12, pp. 104-105. Cited 1 time.
DOI: 10.1016/j.plrev.2015.01.018

Lum, J.A.G., Powell, M., Timms, L., Snow, P. A meta-analysis of cross sectional studies investigating language in maltreated children (2015) Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 58 (3), pp. 961-976. DOI: 10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0056

Contreras-Rodríguez, O., Albein-Urios, N., Perales, J.C., Martínez-Gonzalez, J.M., Vilar-López, R., Fernández-Serrano, M.J., Lozano-Rojas, O., Verdejo-García, A.
Cocaine-specific neuroplasticity in the ventral striatum network is linked to delay discounting and drug relapse (2015) Addiction, 110 (12), pp. 1953-1962. Cited 1 time.
DOI: 10.1111/add.13076

Hyde, C., Fuelscher, I., Enticott, P.G., Reid, S.M., Williams, J. Rapid on-line control to reaching is preserved in children with congenital spastic hemiplegia: Evidence from double-step reaching performance (2015) Journal of Child Neurology, 30 (9), pp. 1186-1191. DOI: 10.1177/0883073814556310

Corp, D. T., Rogers, M. A., Di Lazzaro, V., & Pearce, A. J. (2015). Intrasession Reliability of Single and Paired Pulse TMS Evoked From the Biceps Brachii Representation of the Human Motor Cortex. Brain Stimulation. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2015.01.402

Major, B. P., Rogers, M. A., & Pearce, A. J. (2015). Using transcranial magnetic stimulation to quantify electrophysiological changes following concussive brain injury: A systematic review. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 42(4), 394-405. doi: 10.1111/1440-1681.12363

Undergraduate research projects

In their fourth year, our undergraduate psychology students can choose to complete a cognitive research unit. Examples of the projects they can work on include:

How do we understand other people? Mirror neurons, prediction, and social cognition

This project uses a combination of clinical, experimental and neuroscience methods to explore the nature of empathy and how it might relate to clinical conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder.

Using brain stimulation to investigate social understanding

This study will use transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG) to temporarily modulate and investigate brain activity in two regions heavily involved in processing social information.

Investigating the role of slow wave sleep in declarative (facts and general knowledge) memory consolidation

Sleep is known to be important for making memories but the exact nature of this relationship is unclear. This study will use a form of brain stimulation called ‘transcranial direct current stimulation’ (tDCS) during a participant’s sleep to enhance their memory.

Browse our undergraduate courses in psychology

Contact us

CNU Director
Associate Professor Peter Enticott
+61 3 9244 5504
Email A/Prof. Enticott

Lab Coordinator
Charlotte Davies
Email Charlotte Davies