HBMRC runs a number of major projects in our Mental Health and Well-Being, Neuroscience of Addiction and Mental Health, and Development and Disability over the Lifespan programs of research.

A summary of our major projects and our collaborators and students involved with the projects can be found below.

We welcome enquiries for collaboration on our projects. Please contact us at hbmrc@acu.edu.au to discuss.

Development and Disability Over the Lifespan Program – Key Projects

Elements in the Cloud: A brain-injury rehabilitation system for clinical and home use.

This project builds on the success of the Elements DNA (aka EDNATM) virtual rehabilitation system for brain injury (Mumford et al., 2012; Rogers et al., 2019; www.dynamicneuralarts.com). The key objectives and activities of this project are to: (1) develop a tablet version of the system (called EDNA-22), providing a solution for upper-limb motor rehabilitation in the home; (2) validate EDNA-22 in an RCT comparing efficacy against Treatment-As-Usual; (3) integrate a cloud database to collect and monitor patient adherence and performance data; (4) develop a commercial strategy for the EDNA system via direct licensing from RMIT.

Investigators: Prof. Jonathan Duckworth (Digital Artist, CiART RMIT); Prof. Peter Wilson (Experimental Psychologist and Exercise Scientist, ACU); Mr. Andrew Batty (Business Manager, Lincoln Consulting); Mr Ross Eldridge (Computer Scientist, RMIT); Dr Jeff Rogers (Neuropsychologist, U. Sydney); Prof. Dido Green (Occupational Therapist, Brunel University, UK); Ms Karin Vogel (Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney).

HBMRC Staff: Prof. Peter Wilson

Student Collaborators: Ms. Joyce Lim (MPsych., ACU).

Funding: RMIT ECP Grant; AusIndustry Grant.

Project Period: 2019 - 2021.

Development of Dual-Tasking—An ecological approach

The broad aim of this project is to understand how school-aged children learn to negotiate the performance of motor and cognitive tasks at the same time (i.e., dual-tasking). It explores the development of dual-tasking in typically developing children and in those with motor coordination difficulties (e.g., DCD). The project will address the development of dual-tasking using a unique ecological framework and experimental approach. Performance will be examined in a range of contexts that represent everyday life—when walking, when performing manual actions, and both combined. Results will contribute important knowledge about how cognitive, task-related and environmental factors interact when dual-tasking, and how this interaction changes with age. This will provide significant benefits for the design of safe and efficient learning environments for children.

In a sister project, we examine how the capacity for dual-tasking changes with adult aging, also using an ecological approach and similar paradigms. Findings from this project will inform our understanding of challenges faced by representative dual-task situations with advancing age, guiding intervention programs for healthy aging (e.g., falls prevention).

Investigators: Prof. Peter Wilson (Experimental Psychologist and Exercise Scientist, ACU); Prof. Bert Steenbergen (Movement Scientist, Radboud University, NL); Prof. Andy Gordon (Neurophysiologist and Movement Scientist, Columbia University, NYC); Dr. Michael Cole (Biomechanist, ACU); Dr. Thomas McGuckian (Exercise Scientist, ACU); Dr. Reza Abdollahipour (Exercise Scientist, Palacky University, Czech Republic); Dr. Doug Whyte (Exercise Physiologist, ACU); Dr. Darren Hocking (Developmental Cognitive Neuroscientist, La Trobe); A/Prof Gert-Jan Pepping (Movement Scientist, ACU).

HBMRC Staff: Prof. Peter Wilson, Dr. Michael Cole, Dr. Thomas McGuckian

Student Collaborators: Ms. Emily Subara-Zukic (PhD Cand., ACU); Ms. Jona Mustafovska (PhD Cand., ACU); Ms. Alycia Pike (MPsych., ACU); Mr. Bryce Chivers (MPsych., ACU); Ms. Ebony Corless (Hons., ACU).

Funding: ACU Research Centre Fund; ARC-DP (pending).

Project Period: 2020 - current; the team are currently developing and pilot testing a range of motor-cognitive dual-task paradigms that are representative of everyday performance contexts. 

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