Profile image for Con Stough

Professor Con Stough

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology, Director, Centre for Human Psychopharmacology
Bachelor of Science (Hons), University of Adelaide, Australia; PhD, University of Adelaide, Australia; Bachelor of Science, University of Adelaide, Australia


Professor Con Stough’s research interest lies in understanding human intelligence and cognition. He examines this central question from both psychological and biological perspectives, particularly using pharmacological methods.

A significant part of this research aims towards a better understanding of the cognitive and psychological effects of pharmacologically active substances ranging from illicit drugs to herbal and nutrient medicines. This includes validating new and existing nutritional products that may have a pharmacological profile useful in cognitive enhancement – for example, the bacopa extract CDRI08. More broadly, Professor Stough’s research contributes to the development of nutritional products that can improve brain and cognitive function in Australia and overseas.

In other research, Professor Stough has been working closely with partner schools from Australia and New Zealand to develop measures of emotional intelligence that can be used as development programs for children of all ages. This school-based research and development coalition is known as Aristotle Emotional Intelligence.

Research interests

Psychology; Brain Science and health; Emotional Intelligence; Theories of Intelligence; Psychopharmacology of cognition and emotion; Natural medicines, the brain and cognition; Drugs and driving; Ilicit drugs, MDMA (Ecstasy), cannabis, amphetamines; Ageing and cognition.

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Drugs and Driving: The effects of drugs on driving, accident culpability and deah due to driving; police detection of impaired driving

Emotional Intelligence in school: Unerstanding the application of emotional intelligence to scholastic variables such as bullying, scholastic and sprting success, well-being and mental health and the evaulation of emotional intelligence development programs for school aged children and adolescents

Improving cognition in the elderly: Pharmacological methods including nutrition and nutraceutical intercention; understanding biomarkers of cognitive ageing; cognitive training and combination pharmacological interntion and cognitive training

Intelligence: Neuroimaging of cognitive abilities and intellectual function; Inspection Time; CHC Model of cognition

Neurocognitive effects of drug addiction: New treatments for methamphetamine addiction; understanding the biological and cognitive effects of chronic drug usage

Nutritional and pharmaceutical interventions for childhood disorders: RCTs evaluating the effects of various nutrients, nutritional products and pharmaceuticals on cognition and behaviour in children and adolescents


Available to supervise honours students.

Honours topics and outlines

Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) Model of Cognitive Ability: The CHC model of cognitive ability provides the best frameowrk for understanding cognition. Projects are available that attempt to map other variables such as biochemical (inflammation and oxidative stress) or psychological (personality, emotional intelligence, mood etc) on to this model.

Cognitive Ageing in 60-75 year-olds: We are currently conducting a 12 month intervention to improve cognitive, biochemical, and biological ageing in older participants. The trial known as the Australian Research Council Longevity Intervention (ARCLI) provides a series of great projects in which students can identify and test relationships between cognition and a range of biological processes in the elderly

Emotional Intelligence in children and adolescents: I am currently supervising students who are interested in understanding how emotional intelligence develops and what it predicts in children and adolescents. 

Fields of Research

  • Applied And Developmental Psychology - 520100
  • Biological Psychology - 520200
  • Clinical And Health Psychology - 520300
  • Cognitive And Computational Psychology - 520400
  • Social And Personality Psychology - 520500


  • 2002, Swinburne, Researcher of the year Award, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 1986, National, Anna Florence Booth Prize, University of Adelaide


Also published as: Stough, Con; Stough, C.; Stough, C. K.; Stough, Con K.; Stough, Con K. K.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2022: Swinburne Microbiome Project Phases 3b and 4 *; Equity Trustees Phyllis Connor Memorial Innovation Program
  • 2020: Aristotle EI Project (Anglican Church Grammar School (Churchie)) *; Anglican Church Grammar School
  • 2020: Aristotle El Project *; St Paul's Collegiate College
  • 2020: Aristotle Emotional Intelligence Project - Killara Primary Scholl *; Killara Primary School
  • 2020: Aristotle Emotional Intelligence Project - Overnewton Anglican Community College *; Overnewton Anglican Community College
  • 2020: Aristotle Emotional Intelligence Project - Somerville House *; Somerville House
  • 2020: Aristotle-EI Project: Kristin School (2020) *; Kristin School
  • 2020: Stage 3 of the Swinburne Microbiome Project: the isolation, growth and production of 4 probiotics for memory, anxiety, positive mood and BMI *; Equity Trustees Phyllis Connor Memorial Innovation Program
  • 2019: A randomized controlled trial investigating the effect of high CBD/low dose THC verses placebo on driving performance, sedation and mood. *; Cannvalate Pty Ltd
  • 2019: Adaptive trial of Cannabidiol (CBD) for depression and sleep in the setting of Cannabis Misuse Disorder *; Barbara Dicker Brain Science grant
  • 2019: Aristotle EI Project (Overnewton Anglican Community College) (2019) *; Overnewton Anglican Community College Fund Scheme
  • 2019: Aristotle-EI Project (Whitsunday Anglican School) *; Whitsunday Anglican School
  • 2019: Aristotle-EI Project: Seymour College (2019) *; SEYMOUR COLLEGE FUND SCHEME
  • 2019: Examining the role of the microbiome in cognitive function in the elderly *; Equity Trustees Phyllis Connor Memorial Innovation Program
  • 2019: Medicinal cannabis clinical trials *; Cannvalate Pty Ltd
  • 2019: Targeting the gut microbiome to enhance the health, performance and resilience of the Australian Warfighter *; Human Performance Research Network, Department of Defence
  • 2018: Aristotle EI Project - Medbury School *; MEDBUDY SCHOOL FUND SCHEME
  • 2018: Aristotle-EI Project (Camberwell Grammar School) *; Camberwell Grammar School Fund Scheme
  • 2018: Aristotle-EI Project: Kristin School (2019) *; Kristin School
  • 2018: Examine the effect of acute and chronic supplementation of Blackmores Micronutrient Formulation versus placebo on memory and mood *; Blackmores
  • 2018: Examining the effects of SPP002 on cognitive function and mood in healthy participants *; Bio and Gene Fund Scheme
  • 2018: Investigating the effect of chronic supplementation with Ubiquinol on cognitive function and mood *; Kaneka Corporation
  • 2018: Investigating the safety and efficacy of chronic administration of Cera-Q on memory and cognitive function in healthy adults *; Bio and Gene Fund Scheme
  • 2018: Unlocking the mystery of the gut/brain connection with a view to overcoming cognitive decline (AKA - Examining the role of microbiome in cognitive function in the elderly) *; Roderic O'Connor
  • 2018: Unlocking themystery of the gut/brain connection with a view to overcoming cognitive decline *; Equity Trustees Phyllis Connor Memorial Innovation Program
  • 2017: Aristotle - Emotional Intelligence Project (Kristin School) *; Kristin School
  • 2017: Aristotle - Emotional Intelligence Project (North Melbourne Primary School) *; North Melbourne Primary School
  • 2017: Aristotle - Emotional Intelligence project (Overnewton Anglican Community College) (2017) *; Overnewton Anglican Community College Fund Scheme
  • 2017: Aristotle - Emotional Intelligence Project (Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School) *; Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School Fund Scheme
  • 2017: Examining the neurocognitive effects of Bacopa Monnieri supplementation combined with cognitive training in older adults *; Soho Flordis Bacopa study
  • 2017: i-Platform for microbiota analysis and visualisation *; SFI Research Fund Scheme
  • 2016: Aristotle - Emotional Intelligence Project (Anglican Church Grammar School) *; Anglican Church Grammar School
  • 2016: Aristotle - Emotional Intelligence Project (St Paul's Collegiate College) *; St Paul's Collegiate College
  • 2016: Aristotle - Emotional Intelligence Project (The Knox School) *; The Knox School Fund Scheme
  • 2016: To examine the effect upon stress, mood, anxiety and cognitive performance of consuming a daily dose of Ionix Supreme *; Isagenix Worldwide LLC
  • 2015: Blackmores Pilot Grant Scheme (donation to alumni) *; Blackmores Pilot Grant Scheme
  • 2015: The effect of two concentrations of hempseed oil on oral drug detection systems and driving performance *; Department of Human Services - Contracts
  • 2014: A Phase Ib, Double-blind, randomised, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Study of the Safety, Tolerability, Preliminary Efficacy and Pharmacodynamics of BTD-001 in Young Adults...with Down Syndrome. *; Novotech
  • 2014: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel trial investigating the neurocognitive effects of a proprietary spearmint extract in healthy older adults *; Kemin Foods LC
  • 2014: Biomarkers of nutraceutical supplementation in cognitive ageing: A 'H Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy study *; Soho Flordis H Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy study
  • 2014: Kava for the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A 16-Week Double-Blind RCT *; NHMRC Project Grants
  • 2014: Visiting Researcher Scheme 2014 - Prof Don Saklofske *; Visiting Researcher Scheme
  • 2013: Clinical trial - An acute, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover studty of 320mg, 640mg and 960mg doses of a special extractof Bacopa monnieri (CDR108) on sustained cognitive performance and mood *; Soho Flordis Bacopa study
  • 2013: Executive B and Stress Randomized Clinical Trial *; Blackmores
  • 2013: Investigating Emotional Intelligence at Anglican Church Grammar School *; Anglican Church Grammar School
  • 2013: Nutraceuticals in the Treatment of Depression *; NHMRC Project Grants
  • 2012: The effects of dietary supplements on cognitive performance (PhD scholarship for Matthew Pase) *; Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Research Scholarship in Allied Health Sciences
  • 2012: To examine whether a 3 month supplementation with Healthy Body Vitamin pack improves particpants' experience of workplace stress, variabnles and mood iwith an improvement in biological measures *; Cooper Concepts Inc
  • 2012: Visiting Researcher Scheme 2012 - Bates *; Research Advisory Group- Visiting Researcher Scheme 2012
  • 2011: Amphetamines and Violence in Police Custody Project *; Victoria Police (for Grants)
  • 2011: ARC Longevity Intervention: Investigating the effects of herbal supplements on cognitive functioning *; Horphag
  • 2011: The chronic effects of Bacopa Monniera on cognitive function in Alzheimer's patients - A pilot study *; Barbara Dicker Brain Science grant
  • 2011: The effects of CDR108 (a special extract of bacopa) on children and adolescents with hyperactivity and inattention *; Soho Flordis Bacopa study
  • 2011: The Victorian schools four rooms of change - action research project *; Teacher Learning Network
  • 2011: Various bacopa studies: Ongoing and future research studies on bacopa which are experimenter initiated *; Soho Flordis Bacopa study
  • 2010: Glucose facilitation of cognitive function: effects of effort, age and glucose control *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2010: Improving cognitive function in the elderly *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2010: The acute effects of chlorogenic acid on cognitive function and mood in healthy older adults *; Nestec
  • 2010: The effects of a naturally occurring combination of omega 3's on children and adolescents with hyperactivity and inattention *; Pharmalink
  • 2009: A randomised controlled clinical trial of the effects of EPA-rich fish oil in chronic work stress *; NHMRC Project Grants
  • 2009: An evaluation of the cognitive effects of malt extract and sucrose in children after an exercise challenge *; Nestec Limited (Consultancy)
  • 2009: The effect of THC on driving prformance, cognition, fatigue, stress and drug detection systems (Securetec) *; Securetec Detektions-Systeme AG
  • 2009: The sub-chronic effects of decaffeinated coffee on cognitive function in a healthy older population *; Nestec Limited (Consultancy)
  • 2008: Does Emotional Intelligence predict final year academic results and student retention in secondary schools? *; Anglican Church Grammar School
  • 2008: Optimised treatment in depression study (ISPOT-D) *; Brain Resource Company Ltd

* Chief Investigator