June, 2018
Welcome to the June 2018 edition of Research Matters.

It’s hard to believe that we’re almost half way through the year; a year that once again started strong for MICCN.
Our collaboration with the AFL remains solid, with the award of a prestigious Walter Cottman Equity Trustees Grant (supported by the AFL) to Dr Cathy Willmott. Dr Willmott will be investigating whether protective headgear is an effective injury prevention measure in Australian football.
We are also starting to see other successful collaborations flourishing across the Institute; from decision-making for Defence through to assisting children born very preterm with potential language difficulties.
An international research team, which includes MICCN’s Dr Thomas Andrillon, has made a breakthrough discovery, unveiling how sleep affects learning and memory. The team is now seeking to better understand how the brain can promote learning or forgetting, to potentially better the lives of many worldwide.
Also within our Sleep Program, we are exploring why regularity in sleep is so important.
We hope that you enjoy reading about these and our other achievements from the past couple of months.

Best wishes,
Professor Kim Cornish
Director MICCN
Padded headgear in youth football: what is the evidence?

A program of research led by MICCN’s Dr Catherine Willmott, in conjunction with experts including Professor Biswadev Mitra from the National Trauma Research Institute (NTRI), a Department of Alfred Health and Monash University, and with support from the AFL, has been awarded a $141,000 grant from Equity Trustees - The Walter Thomas Cottman Charitable Trust.

The support is to evaluate attitudes towards the use of headgear, and the efficacy of headgear in the prevention of sports concussion across levels of junior Australian football. Read more...
Breakthrough discovery unveils how sleep affects learning and memory

MICCN’s Dr Thomas Andrillon has been part of an innovative study led by the Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique (CNRS / ENS / EHESS) in collaboration with the Laboratoire des Systèmes Perceptifs (CNRS / ENS) and the Centre du Sommeil et de la Vigilance (AP-HP / Paris Descartes University) at Hôtel Dieu Hospital. The investigators used the kind of passive auditory stimulation you experience when white noise is played to explore the connection between learning and sleep. Read more...
Very preterm children: minding the language gap

Children born very preterm (VP) are more likely to have language difficulties in early to middle childhood than those children born ‘on time’. A recent study led by MICCN PhD student, Ms Thi-Nhu-Ngoc Nguyen, examined the developmental trajectory of language ability from 2 to 13 years of age in children born VP, compared with children born at full term. Read more...
'Mood' apps to combat depression

Four years ago, a team of Monash psychologists – including MICCN’s Adjunct Associate Professor Nikki Rickard and Dr David Bakker – began working on a smartphone app to help combat the growing spectre of anxiety and depression. Now there are two such apps, with one the winner of multiple awards. Read more.
Why regularity in sleep is important

A recent study undertaken by MICCN’s Dr Andrew Phillips and funded by the National Institutes of Health – an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and one of the world's foremost medical research centres – monitored the sleep patterns of 60 undergraduate students, and the effect that sleep regularity had on their grades. Read more...
The Science of Addiction

Drugs, food, alcohol, gambling… Addiction takes many forms, and can have many consequences. How exactly are we revolutionising treatment therapies to help with managing addictive behaviours? Find out in The Science of Addiction – brought to you by A Different Lens (Monash Lens) and featuring three MICCN experts: Associate Professor Marie Yap, Professor Murat Yücel and Associate Professor Antonio Verdejo-Garcia. View the episode here.
Thiele, A. & Bellgrove, M. A. (2018) Neuromodulation of Attention. Neuron, 97(4), p769-785.
Rubenis, A. J., Fitzpatrick, R. E., Lubman, D. I., Verdejo-Garcia, A. (2018) Impulsivity predicts poorer improvement in quality of life during early treatment for people with methamphetamine dependence. Addiction, 113(4), p668-676.
Chung, S. W., Rogasch, N. C., Hoy, K. E., Sullivan, C. M., Cash, R. F. H. & Fitzgerald, P. B. (2018) Impact of different intensities of intermittent theta burst stimulation on the cortical properties during TMS-EEG and working memory performance. Human Brain Mapping, 39(2), p783-802.
Haebich, K. M., Willmott, C., Ellis, R., Burnett, A. C., Scratch, S. E., Pascoe, L., Spencer-Smith, M. M., Cheong, J. L. Y., Inder, T. E., Doyle, L. W., Thompson, D. K., Anderson, P. J. (2018) Goal Setting Deficits at 13 Years in Very Preterm Born Children. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 24(4), p372-381.
Kraan, C. M., Cornish, K. M., Bui, Q. M., Li, X., Slater, H. R., Godler, D. E. (2018) β-glucuronidase use as a single internal control gene may confound analysis in FMR1 mRNA toxicity studies. PLoS One, 13(2).
Sign up for SONA

Want to take part in current psychology and neuroscience studies that are taking place within MICCN and the Monash School of Psychological Sciences? Sign up here.
Decision-making for Defence: how MICCN is helping to keep you safe

Industry partnerships are central to our strategy to deliver impactful research. As such, our Sleep Program established a new funding scheme for Translational Fellowships in Industry.

In 2017, MICCN Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dr Alex Wolkow, was awarded such a Fellowship; one key outcome of which will see our sleep and circadian research effectively contributing to the safeguarding of Australia.
Through the Fellowship, Dr Wolkow recognised the potential for research already being undertaken with the U.S. Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research (Global), and aligned with Defence and Science Technology (DST) Group’s research on real-world decision-making and how it can be enhanced and protected from the impact of challenging operational conditions, including sleep deprivation and circadian misalignment. Read more...
IMPACT7 2018

Imagine a world where poverty or disease has been eradicated, our grandchildren have an abundance of food, and live in a secure, natural environment.

IMPACT7 2018 will showcase research-based innovations to these massive challenges and others, in a snappy 3-minute presentation format.

Date: Thursday 9 August 2018
Time: 8.30am - 5.30pm
Venue: The Carson Conference Centre (ANMF), 
535 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.

 For more information on why to apply, who can apply, and the awards you can win, visit
2018 Gottschalk Medal - Associate Professor Alex Fornito

In May 2018, MICCN’s Associate Professor Alexander Fornito proudly accepted the 2018 Gottschalk Medal at the official ceremony hosted by the Australian Academy of Science. The Gottschalk Medal recognises the contributions to science by the late Professor A Gottschalk, FAA, through outstanding research in the medical sciences by researchers up to 10 years post-PhD in the calendar year of nomination. Professor Fornito was awarded for his work in interpreting how disruptions of brain connectivity can lead to mental illness. Read more about Professor Fornito’s research here; watch the video highlights here.
Pause for Parkinson's - World Parkinson's Day 

MICCN recently Paused for Parkinson’s. The annual event seeks to raise more awareness and vital funds for research into better treatments and ultimately a cure for this debilitating disease.
More than 110,000 people may be living with Parkinson's in Australia. For the MICCN, this number is not acceptable. We are one of the many organisations striving to find better treatments, and ultimately a cure, by investigating the cognitive processes underlying the debilitating disease.
In 2016, Dr Trevor Chong was awarded a Brain Foundation “Research Gift Award” to investigate fatigue and its impact on decision-making in Parkinson's disease. We asked Trevor how his work is progressing, and how he is helping to turn around the lives of so many for the better. Click here to see the full interview
Dr Steve Lockley (and MICCN) was recently featured in an article published in the Australian Financial Review: “Dream bedrooms: how to indulge in a good night's beauty sleep”.
MICCN's Professor Sean Drummond was featured in an Office of Naval Research Science & Technology media release which addressed whether there are links between sleep and decision-making.
MICCN's Dr Sean Cain and PhD student, Elise McGlashan, were featured in an ABC news article "Antidepressants less effective for night owls, linked to light exposure, researchers believe". Click to read full article.
The Australian Journal of Pharmacy published a World Sleep Day (16 March 2018) article, featuring MICCN'S Professor Shantha Rajaratnam, showcasing statistics from a global sleep survey. 
1) What are the key areas of research that interest you?       
I’m broadly interested in anything sleep and cognition. My work tends to look at the impact of sleep, sleep loss or circadian timing on behavioural, physiological or biological correlates of alertness and cognitive function.

2) What has been a highlight of your research career to date?
Having a leadership role (theme leader and PI of major projects) in the Alertness CRC. The Alertness CRC speaks to my passion: translation and commercialisation of cutting edge science – for example, we are currently developing an alertness biomarker with an aim of developing a ‘fatigue breathalyser’.

3) Who has been the greatest inspiration in your research career and why?
My PhD supervisor, Professor Jim Horne. He was a pioneer in sleep research and has made such major contributions to the field. He inspired not only my interest in sleep science but also my desire for translation and impact through his dedication to improving road safety outcomes in the UK. He continues to inspire me to this day, 20 years since we first began working together!

4) What advice would you give a person starting out their research career?
Find your passion, and work with the best people - personally and professionally.  

5) Share something about you that most people wouldn't know.
I have competed at county level (state level) in five different sports. It was sport that took me to Loughborough Uni (premier institute for sport in UK), which is where I found sleep science… Oh, and I love sausage dogs, but I think almost everyone knows that!
MICCN brings together over 200 world-class researchers with cutting-edge research infrastructure from a range of disciplines and faculties to work towards advancement in areas of critical importance to well-being. 

Addiction | Attention & Memory | Sleep
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