MAPrc has approximately 50 local and international students completing Ph.D., Masters, Honours and undergraduate degrees in areas including cognitive psychology and neuroscience.   

A wide variety of research projects are available including: psychosis in traumatic brain injury, female hormones in schizophrenia symptom alleviation, mirror neurons and their role in social understanding, and additionally, correlates between cognitive dysfunction and specific symptoms in schizophrenia.  




MAPrc provides a friendly and nurturing environment where students are encouraged to interact with senior staff on issues surrounding research design and analysis. Further, students are given the unique opportunity to be treated like staff members. This includes attending staff meetings, sharing ideas about research, and attending conferences both locally and internationally. This unique student environment is an ideal gateway between being a university student and joining the research workforce. 











Aron Hill

Aron is undertaking his PhD within the Cognitive Neurotechnology Research Group at the MAPrc under the supervision of A/Prof Kate Hoy, Dr Nigel Rogasch and Prof Paul Fitzgerald. Aron’s research is aimed at utilising non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques to improve neuroplasticity-based cognitive performance. Aron is particularly interested in better understanding the behavioural and neurophysiological effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) through the use of brain imaging techniques (EEG, TMS-EEG) and neuropsychological tests.

Aron’s research also focuses on ways of optimising the clinical efficacy of tDCS delivery through the use of novel ‘high-definition’ (HD-tDCS) multi-electrode montages. Aron hopes that his research will help shed more light on the neurobiological foundations of cognitive enhancement and ultimately lead to better future treatment options for people suffering from psychiatric and neurological disorders.

Costa Vakalopoulos

Costa is a PhD student in the Brain Stimulation team. 

Grant Rutherford

Grant is a PhD student currently studying under the supervision of Dr. Zahra Moussavi and Dr Brian Lithgow at the University of Manitoba, in Canada, He is helping the MAPrc group with a simulation study of the brain stimulation coil.

Hannah Coyle

Hannah Coyle
Hannah is a PhD student and Research Assistant Psychiatric Neurotechnology Team

Imogen Bell

Imogen is currently completing a Combined Master/PhD in Clinical Psychology at Swinburne University of Technology under the supervision of Associate Professor Neil Thomas and Professor Susan Rossell. For her PhD research, Imogen is conducting a randomised controlled trial of a novel smartphone-assisted psychological intervention which aims to help people cope with distressing voice hearing experiences. This trial is being conducted at MAPrc and at an international Voices Clinic in Sussex, UK.

For more information about this research, please visit the trial website ( or contact Imogen on (03) 9076 6564 or

Jacqui Riddiford

Jacqui completed a Bachelor of Psychology (with Honours) from Monash University 
in 2012. She is currently a Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology) candidate at Monash University under the supervision of Dr Joanne Fielding, Associate Professor Peter Enticott and Dr Caroline Gurvich. Jacqui's doctoral research is examining the relationship between visual processing and the mirror neuron system in autism spectrum disorder.



Karyn Richardson

Karyn Richardson BSc(Hons)

Karyn Richardson completed her undergraduate studies in psychology at Monash University in 2009, and is currently completing her Doctorate in Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology), also at Monash University. Karyn’s doctoral research is based in the Brain Stimulation and Neurosciences stream of MAPrc, and is exploring cortical inhibition and cognition in people with schizophrenia and their healthy relatives.
Research Project
Brain activity and cognition
A study investigating brain activity and cognition among schizophrenia patients and their relatives. For further information, please contact Karyn Richardson on (03) 9076 6564 or email

Lizzie Thomas

Lizzie completed her Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours)/Bachelor of Science double degree at Monash University in 2014. She completed her Honours at MAPrc, looking at the association of Neuregulin-1 with cognitive deficits related to schizophrenia and schizotypy.

She is currently completing her PhD in the Cognitive Neuropsychiatry team under the supervision of Dr Caroline Gurvich, Professor Susan Rossell and Dr Kiymet Bozaoglu (Baker IDI). Lizzie's doctoral research is investigating the influence of genes in the glutamatergic pathway on cognitive deficits in schizophrenia.

Maree Reser

Maree completed her Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) at La Trobe University in 2013. She completed her Honours in collaboration with Orygen Youth Health, examining whether discrete cognitive profiles found in chronic schizophrenia populations were evident at first-episode psychosis.

She is currently completing her Doctorate in Psychology (Clinical) under the supervision of Professor Susan Rossell and Dr Neil Thomas. Maree’s doctoral research is investigating factors that influence the effectiveness of cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) in people diagnosed with schizophrenia. In support, she is offering eligible participants the opportunity to complete a free cognitive training program. For further information, please contact Maree on 0451 169 656 or email

Melanie Emonson

Melanie Emonson BBNSc (Psych Hons)

Melanie Emonson has been a member of the Brain Stimulation and Neurosciences team since January 2012. 

Melanie completed her Honours Degree of the Bachelor of Behavioural Neuroscience at Monash University in 2011, undertaking her project under the supervision of Dr Kate Hoy at MAPrc. Her research project involved the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in the enhancement of working memory. 







Phillip Law

Phillip Law
B.PsychSci (Hons), University of Queensland
PhD student, Monash University
Phillip’s primary research interest and interdisciplinary specialisation is in visual perception and bipolar disorder. With a background in programming (e.g., MATLAB), he is currently completing his postgraduate research under the supervision of Dr Steven Miller, Dr Trung Ngo and Dr Caroline Gurvich.
His research project is examining the individual differences in perceptual rivalry - an phenomenon characterised by alternations in the awareness of different interpretations to fixed visual input - and eye movement profiles in people with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression. His project is investigating endophenotypes and is currently developing a standard system for the objective classification of bipolar disorder. 

Phillip Sumner

Phillip is a PhD student in thei Cognitive Neuropsychiatry team. 

Rodney Anderson

Rodney recently completed Honours in Psychology at Deakin University where his research focused on the neurobiological mechanisms underlying deep brain stimulation for treatment resistant depression. This research explored the effects of deep brain stimulation on long-term neuroplasticity in the mesolimbic dopamine system.
Rodney is currently a Monash University PhD candidate based at the MAPrc, under the supervision of Professor Paul Fitzgerald. Rodney’s current research involves an investigation of the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation for treatment resistant depression.

Sarah Lancaster

Sarah completed her Bachelor of Psychological Science at La Trobe University in 2010 and went on to complete her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Cognitive Neuroscience at Swinburne University in 2012. Sarah completed her Honours looking at auditory verbal hallucinations in schizophrenia under the supervision of Professor Susan Rossell and Dr Matthew Hughes (Swinburne University).

Sarah is continuing her honours research with the same supervisory team and is currently completing her PhD with the Cognitive Neuropsychiatry team.

Sean Carruthers

Sean is a PhD student in the Cognitive Neuropsychiatry team. 

Shayden Bryce

Shayden completed his Bachelor of Behavioural Neuroscience (Honours), with a double major in Neuroscience and Psychology, in 2013 at Monash University. His honours project involved the validation of two screening measures for detecting substance use disorders individuals who had sustained a traumatic brain injury.

Shayden is currently completing his DPsych (clinical neuropsychology) at Monash University, and is completing the research component of this degree within Cognitive Neuropsychiatry team under the supervision of Professor Susan Rossell and Dr Stuart Lee. Shayden’s doctoral research is examining the unique benefits of computer-based cognitive training on cognition and psychosocial functioning, when compared to commercially available video games, for individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.

For additional information about Shayden's doctoral research project, please contact Shayden on 0424515907 or at

Ting ting Cao

Ting ting Cao obtained her Bachelor of Behavioral Neuroscience degree at Monash University majoring in Psychology and Neuroscience. During her undergraduate, she studied at University of Bergen (Norway) as an exchange student, studying medical health psychology and preventative health psychology. The following year, she completed her honours year in behavioral neuroscience with a focus in the area of blood oxygenation changes resulting from transcranial magnetic stimulation at MAPrc.
She is currently completing her PhD degree under the supervision of Professor Paul Fitzgerald and Dr Richard Thomson based at MAPrc. For her PhD research project, she is investigating functional connectivity in the brain by using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).