Dr Tamsyn Van Rheenen

Dr Tamsyn Van Rheenen is a Senior Research Fellow and

head of the Mood - Psychosis Spectrum Sub-Stream at the MNC


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Dr Tamsyn Van Rheenen completed her PhD at Swinburne University in 2014, and moved to the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre in 2015 to take up an NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellowship. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow, and head of the Mood - Psychosis Spectrum group within the Psychosis Studies stream.


Tamsyn’s research program is focussed on understanding shared and distinct features of the major psychiatric illnesses on the mood – psychosis spectrum. Specifically, her current research incorporates neuropsychological and neuroimaging techniques to better understand the relationship between behaviourally assessed cognitive (thinking) skills and underlying brain anatomy and brain function, with an emphasis on bipolar disorder and its cross-over with schizophrenia.

Dr Van Rheenen is currently running the following study that is currently recruiting participants:


If you would like to find out more about Dr Van Rheenen’s research, or are interested in Honours, Masters or PhD projects, please contact her at tamsyn.van@unimelb.edu.au.

Current Projects

Current Funding

(2018-2020) Understanding the biological relevance of cross-diagnostic subgroups of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Henry Freeman Trust

(2017-2018) Characterising cross-diagnostic cognitive subgroups in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Society of Mental Health Research.

(2017-2018) Understanding cognitive variability in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Jack Brockhoff Foundation Medical Research Grant.

(2017-2018) Understanding the role of inhibitory dysfunction in affective network alteration and auditory verbal hallucinations in patients with bipolar disorder. Barbara Dicker Brain Sciences Foundation.

Van Rheenen, T.E., Lewandowski, K.E, Lipschitz J.M, Burdick K.E.  (in press) Conducting Clinical Studies Targeting Cognition in Psychiatry: Guiding Principles and Design, CNS Spectrums. doi: 10.1017/S1092852918001074

Van Rheenen T.E, Cropley VL, Wells R, Bruggemann J., Swaminathan V, Sundram S, Weinberg W., Jacomb I, Lenroot R, Pereira AM, Zalesky A, Bousman C, Shannon Weickert C, Weickert TW, Pantelis P. (2018). Widespread volumetric reductions in schizophrenia and schizoaffective patients displaying compromised cognitive abilities. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 44, 560-574

Van Rheenen T.E., Lewandowski KE., Tan, E., Ospina, L., Ongur D, Malhotra A., Neill, E, Gurvich, E., Pantelis, C., Rossell SL., Burdick KE. (2017). Cognitive heterogeneity on the schizophrenia – bipolar spectrum.  Psychological Medicine. 47, 1848-1864

Van Rheenen, T.E, Joshua, N., Rossell, S.L. & Castle, D. (2017) Configural and featural face processing influences on emotion recognition in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Journal of the International Society. 23, 287-291

Douglas, K., & Van Rheenen, T.E. Current treatment options for cognitive impairment in bipolar disorder; a review (2016). Current Treatment Options in Psychiatry, 3, 330-355

Van Rheenen, T.E., Bryce, S., Tan, E., Neill, E., Gurvich, C., Louise, S., & Rossell, SL (2016). Does cognitive performance map to categorical diagnoses of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder? A discriminant functions analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders. 192:109-115

Van Rheenen, T. E. Meyer, D., & Rossell, S. L. (2014). Pathways between neurocognition, social cognition and emotion regulation in bipolar disorder. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 130,397-405

Van Rheenen, T.E. and. Rossell, S.L., (2014). An Empirical Evaluation of the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery in Bipolar Disorder.  Bipolar Disorders, 16, 318-325

Van Rheenen, T. E. & Rossell, S. L. (2014). Let’s face it: facial emotion processing is impaired in bipolar disorder. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 20, 200-208

Van Rheenen, T. E. & Rossell, S. L. (2014). Multimodal emotion integration in bipolar disorder: an investigation of involuntary cross-modal influences between facial and prosodic channels. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 20, 1–9

Select Publications




University of Melbourne and

Melbourne Health

Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre

Level 3, Alan Gilbert Building

161 Barry Street

Carlton, Victoria, 3053