The Mood- Psychosis Spectrum group within the Psychosis Studies research stream aims to understand links between the brain, cognition and behaviour in bipolar disorder and related illnesses on the mood-psychosis spectrum. We focus on characterising neurocognitive and social cognitive functioning in these illnesses and ascertaining their clinical and neurobiological correlates using behavioural, neuroimaging and psychophysiological techniques.

Lisa Furlong (PhD Candidate)

Elysha Ringin (PhD Candidate)


James Karantonis (PhD Candidate)

Dr Sean Carruthers (Research Fellow)

Julia Velakoulis (Honours)

Georgia Caruana (PhD Candidate)

Reuben Dyer (PhD Candidate)


This project aims to investigate the thinking and emotional patterns associated with bipolar disorder through the use of cutting-edge neuropsychology and neuroscience techniques.  In particular, this research uses magnetoencephalography (MEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to explore the brain activity underlying thinking and emotion in people with bipolar disorder, first-degree biological relatives of people with bipolar disorder, and healthy controls. 

This research is important in furthering knowledge about the causes and characteristics of bipolar disorder.  It will contribute to the identification of risk markers for the illness, as well as generating a strong knowledge base from which neurobiological treatments can be developed and implemented.




Karantonis J, Rossell SL, Carruthers S, Sumner P, Hughes M, Green MJ, . . . Van Rheenen TE. (In Press). Validation of cross-diagnostic cognitive subgroups on the schizophrenia-bipolar spectrum. Journal of Affective Disorders.

Van Rheenen, T., Cropley, V., Fagerlund, B., Wannan, C., Bruggemann, J., Lenroot, R. K., . . . Pantelis, C. (In Press). Cognitive reserve attenuates age-related cognitive decline in the context of putatively accelerated brain ageing in schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. Psychological Medicine. 

Van Rheenen, T. E., Lewandowski, K. E., Bauer, I. E., Kapczinski, F., Miskowiak, K., Burdick, K. E., & Balanzá‐Martínez, V. (2019). Current understandings of the trajectory and emerging correlates of cognitive impairment in bipolar disorder: an overview of evidence. Bipolar Disorders. 

Van Rheenen, T. E., Ganella, E. P., Bauer, I. E., & Bartholomeusz, C. F. (2019). Characterization of social cognitive deficits on the schizophrenia-bipolar disorder spectrum: An overview of current evidence. In K. E. Lewandowski & A. A. Moustafa (Eds.), Social Cognition in Psychosis (1 ed.): Elsevier.

Van Rheenen, T. E., Lewandowski, K.E, Lipschitz J.M, Burdick K.E. . (2019). Conducting Clinical Studies Targeting Cognition in Psychiatry: Guiding Principles and Design. CNS Spectrums, 24, 16-21.


Carruthers, S. P., Van Rheenen, T. E., Sumner, P. J., Gurvich, C., & Rossell, S. L. (2019). Characterising the structure of cognitive heterogeneity in schizophrenia spectrum disorders—A systematic review and narrative synthesis. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 

Van Rheenen, T. E., Cropley V, Wells R, Bruggemann J, Swaminathan V, Sundram S, . . . Pantelis C. (2018). Widespread volumetric reductions in schizophrenia and schizoaffective patients displaying compromised cognitive abilities. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 44(3), 560-574. 

Van Rheenen, T. E., Lewandowski, K. E., Ongur, D., Tan, E. J., Neill, E., Gurvich, C., . . . Burdick, K. E. (2017). Characterizing cognitive heterogeneity on the schizophrenia – bipolar disorder spectrum. Psychological Medicine, 47, 1848-1864. 

Calafiore, D., Rossell, S. L., & Van Rheenen, T. E. (2018). Cognitive abilities in first-degree relatives of individuals with bipolar disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 225, 147-152. doi:

Van Rheenen, T. E., Murray, G., & Rossell, S. L. (2015). Emotion regulation in bipolar disorder: profile and utility in predicting trait mania and depression propensity. Psychiatry Research. 




University of Melbourne and

Melbourne Health

Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre

Level 3, Alan Gilbert Building

161 Barry Street

Carlton, Victoria, 3053