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 (Honours)

Jinwon (Evan) Son (Honours)


James Karantonis (PhD Candidate)

Dr Sean Carruthers (Research Fellow)

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.




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.

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. (in press). Widespread volumetric reductions in schizophrenia and schizoaffective patients displaying compromised cognitive abilities. Schizophrenia Bulletin.

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




University of Melbourne and

Melbourne Health

Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre

Level 3, Alan Gilbert Building

161 Barry Street

Carlton, Victoria, 3053