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 (Lab Manager)

Dr Sean Carruthers (Research Fellow)

Julia Velakoulis (Honours)

Georgia Caruana (PhD Candidate)

Reuben Dyer (PhD Candidate)

Rebecca Cooper (Research Assistant)


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 TE, Mcintyre RS, Balanzá-Martínez V, Berk M & Rossell SL. (2020) Cumulative Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Triglycerides Differentially Relate to Subdomains of Executive Function in Bipolar Disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders. 278:556-562

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. (2020) Cognitive Reserve Attenuates Age-Related Cognitive Decline in the Context of Accelerated Brain Ageing in Schizophrenia-Spectrum Disorders. Psychological Medicine, 50, 1475-1489

Karantonis J, Rossell S.L, Carruthers S, Sumner P, Hughes M, Green MJ, Pantelis C, Burdick K.E, Cropley V, Van Rheenen TE. (2020) Cognitive validation of cross-diagnostic cognitive subgroups on the schizophrenia-bipolar spectrum. Journal of Affective Disorders, 266, 710-721

Calafiore, D., Rossell, SL., Van Rheenen TE. (2018). Cognitive Abilities in First-Degree Relatives of Individuals with Bipolar Disorder, Journal of Affective Disorders, 225, 147-152

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(3):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). Characterising 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 Neuropsychological Society. 23, 287-291

Van Rheenen TE, Lewandowski KE, Bauer I, Kapczinski F., Miskowiak K., Burdick, KE, Balanza-Martinez, V. Current understandings of the trajectory and emerging correlates of cognitive impairment in bipolar disorder: an overview of evidence (2020). Bipolar Disorders, 22:13–27

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

Van Rheenen, TE, Ganella E., Bauer I and Bartholemeusz C. (2019). Characterisation of social cognitive deficits on the schizophrenia -bipolar spectrum: an overview of current evidence, In Lewandowski, K and Moustafa, A.M. eds. Social Cognition in Psychosis. Elsevier Inc, New York, p. 2-36