Assessment: Cognition, Behaviour & Technology

Why are some people susceptible to excessive cannabis use, or compulsive hoarding, washing, and checking, while others are not? Why do some people recover from addiction quickly, and completely, and others face a lifetime's struggle? How can we develop engaging and accessible technologies to phenotype and personalise treatments?

To answer questions like these, our researchers are investigating the brain mechanisms that underpin addictions, compulsions, and related mental health disorders.

Key to our approach is the variety of techniques we use to form a complete picture of the brain in operation. These include standard and experimental measures of the behaviours and brain functions that play the biggest role in compulsive and addictive behaviours.

We also use advanced brain scanning techniques to measure changes in brain anatomy, circuits, chemistry and electrical activity. Brain scans are analysed using mathematical tools such as graph theory, data mining and computational modelling.

Scanning techniques are also used with TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation), which provides additional insights into how the brain works, and which may lead to new ways to tailor TMS to each individual in the treatment of addictive and other disorders.

Case study

Purpose-built cognitive assessment tool with integrated artificial intelligence will help detect risk for addictions

Addiction Lead

Professor Murat Yücel

T: +61 3 9902 9765


Addiction Deputy Lead

Professor Antonio Verdejo-Garcia

T: +61 3 9905 5374