Mechanisms of mental health conditions

The aim of this stream of the research centre is to complete high quality research examining the mechanisms that interact in the developmental of mental health conditions. Such processes include social, psychological, cognitive and neurobiological factors. Identifying such factors will logically inform our development of novel treatments. Our mechanisms research is inter-disciplinary and involves the fields of psychology, neuroscience, psychiatry, genetics, neurology, mathematicians and biomedical engineers (the latter two with regards to our neuroimaging analysis).

Social processes

Research examining social processes examines the role of society, cultures and community on an individuals’ behaviour. This includes understanding the interactions that an individual has with their family, peers and the broader community, as well as the adverse influences of trauma, aggression and conflict.

Psychological processes

Psychological processes or factors refer to our thoughts, feelings and other cognitive characteristics that affect the attitude, behaviour and functions of the human mind.

Cognitive processes

Cognition is a set of interacting abilities that enable us to understand the world and allow us to engage in our everyday activities. These include our memory, attention, problem solving skills, language and reasoning.

Neurobiological processes

A neurobiological understanding of behaviour concerns how neural circuits and systems represent functions and malfunctions. We have recently extended this to include investigations that focus on the interplay between genes and brain processes.


Many of our researchers make use of the university’s neuroimaging facilities housed in dedicated research facilities. The use of these facilities will ensure continued high quality neurobiological outputs in the form of peer-review publications.

We make use of the following techniques:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Magnetoencephalography (MEG)
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)