Research Council Grants Awarded.
Congraluations to the following on receiving ARC funding commencing
Professor Sally Andrews
Project Title: Lexical expertise and reading skill:
An experimental analysis of individual differences in written language
Project Summary: The Federal Government's current
National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy highlights the importance
of an evidence-based approach to teaching and assessing literacy.
Considerable research and policy effort has been directed towards
early reading programs. Much less attention has been paid to evaluating
children's later development of reading comprehension and spelling
proficiency, but there is wide diversity in these skills within
the adult population that influence educational and vocational opportunity.
This investigation of the factors underlying expertise in reading
and spelling will provide evidence that can contribute to developing
educational policy and curricula for the later stages of schooling.
Funding: $202,500 over three years
Dr Derek Arnold (Collaborator:
Prof Alan Johnston, University College London)
Project Title: Motion and Spatial Coding in Vision
Project Summary: The results of this project will
have implications for the design and implementation of artificial
visual systems. Completion of this project will depend upon international
collaboration - forging links between a young Australian investigator
and outstanding overseas scientists as well as providing excellent
training opportunities. Subsequent publication of the research in
top-ranking international journals will further promote Australian
Funding: $320, 000 over three years
Professor Ian Curthoys and Dr
Hamish MacDougall (Collaborator: Dr ST Moore)
Project Title: Functional Assessment of Head-eye
Coordination during Driving
Project Summary: 238 people per 100,000 population
were hospitalized and 9 people per 100,000 died as a result of road-transport
related injury in Australia in 2002. We will address this issue
by assessing the head eye coordination strategies for young drivers,
for proficient drivers and for aged drivers to determine those behaviors
and strategies that are associated with various levels of performance.
This insight could be affectively communicated to others and would
provide the basis for educational material and methods that would
improve operator skill, safety, and performance. These individual
improvements would provide overall benefits such as improved transport
efficiency, reduced accident rates, saved lives and a reduction
in related social costs.
Funding: $255,000 over three years.
Dr Justin Harris and Dr
Project Title: Interactions between vision and
Project Summary: This project will investigate
in detail how sensory information is integrated across different
modalities in constructing our perceptual experiences. This has
the potential to be incorporated into the development of virtual
reality-type computer-based technologies. The project will link
the research activities of two successful Australian researchers,
further developing their new and promising collaboration. The research
programme will attract high quality local and international students
for training in basic psychology research in Australia. The publication
of this research in top ranking international journals will promote
Australian science abroad.
Funding: $340,000 over three years.
Dr Ian Johnston
Project Title: Central nervous system cytokines
and morphine analgesia
Project Summary: Morphine remains the drug of
choice for the management of moderate-to-severe pain, however its
clinical effectiveness is compromised by the fact that morphine's
analgesic (pain reducing) efficacy becomes less effective the more
it is administered. This project will examine how analgesic tolerance
develops from a completely new approach: Namely, how stimulation
of the immune system within the central nervous system is a crucial
factor in the development of tolerance. Modulation of analgesia
by the immune system has not been systematically studied and provides
a potentially fertile ground for the development of new techniques
in the management of clinical pain. Administering Institution
Funding: $160,000 over three years
Associate Professor Iain McGregor
Project Title: Learning about threats: the neural
and behavioural response to predator-related cues in rodents
Project Summary: This project will investigate
the anxiety displayed by rats when confronted with the odours of
predators such as cats. This anxiety may be very similar to that
experienced by humans who suffer from anxiety disorders such as
phobias. By investigating the nature of this anxiety, the nature
of the stimuli that produce it, and the learning and neural processes
that underlie it we may better understand human anxiety. The project
also aims to identify novel chemicals in the fur of cats that have
rodent repellent properties. Such chemicals may be of great use
in domestic and agricultural contexts where rodents are pests.
Funding: $147,000 over three years.
Dr Lisa Zadro (Collaborator: Dr Michelle Moulds (University
of New South Wales)
Project Title: Developing strategies to ameliorate
the aversive effects of ostracism
Project Summary: By investigating and identifying
strategies to ameliorate the aversive effects of ostracism, this
research will permit exciting advances that will extend existing
conceptual models in the ostracism literature. Further, given the
prevalence of ostracism across societal, occupational and community
domains, these studies will yield outcomes with significant and
far-reaching practical implications. By applying rigorous experimental
methodologies to answer theoretically driven questions about the
impact of ostracism, these studies represent the interface of empirically
sound and clinically and socially-oriented experimental research.
Funding: $200,000 over three years.