News and events

News and events



Research workshops and events

Developmental Pathways to Conduct Disorder: Implications of the DSM-5 Specifier “with Limited Prosocial Emotions”

Speaker: Professor Paul Frick, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University

Date & Time: Wednesday 28 June, 1.00pm - 2.00pm

Venue: C8A 310 (Senate Room), Lincoln Building

Children and adolescents who show a serious pattern of antisocial and aggressive behavior and who meet the diagnostic criteria for Conduct Disorder represent a serious mental health concern. Their behavior places them at risk for a number of significant educational, social, and legal difficulties and their behavior can lead to serious consequences to the victims of their antisocial and aggressive acts.  The current presentation will focus on research charting the various developmental pathways that can lead to Conduct Disorder, focusing especially on one pathway that involves failures in the normal development of empathy, guilt, and other forms of prosocial emotions.  Children in this pathway often show a particularly severe, aggressive, and stable pattern of behavior, which has led to its inclusion in recent diagnostic criteria for Conduct Disorder.  The current talk will also focus on the implications of this research for identifying children in need of early intervention for their behavior problems and for designing effective interventions for children and adolescents with Conduct Disorder in mental health clinics, schools, or the juvenile justice system.

Paul J. Frick, Ph.D is the Roy Crumpler Memorial Chair in the Department of Psychology at the Louisiana State University and professor in Learning Science Institute of Australia at Australian Catholic University. Dr. Frick received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Georgia in 1990.  He was on the faculty at the University Alabama from 1990 to 1999.  From 1999 until 2015, he was on the faculty at the University of New Orleans, where he was chair of the Department of Psychology from 2007 to 2015. 

Dr. Frick has published over 220 manuscripts in either edited books or peer-reviewed publications and he is the author of 6 additional books and test manuals.  A continuing line of research focuses on understanding the different pathways through which youth develop serious antisocial behavior and aggression and the implications of this research for assessment, treatment, and public policy. His work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the John T. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation. 

In 2004, Dr. Frick was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Orebro University in Orebro, Sweden in recognition of his research contributions in psychology. In 2008, he received the MacArthur Foundation’s Champion for Change in Juvenile Justice Award for the state of Louisiana.  Dr. Frick was awarded the 2015 Robert D. Hare Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy.  Dr. Frick has been the President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy (2009-2011). He is currently the editor of the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, the official journal of the International Society for Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology.  He was the editor of the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (2007-2011), the official journal of Division 53 of the American Psychological Association which is the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.  Dr. Frick also was a member of the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-V Workgroup for ADHD and the Disruptive Behavior Disorders (2007-2012).

Everyone is welcome to attend and no RSVP required.

In the Search of Biological Markers of Resilience

Speaker: Professor Eugene Nalivaiko, University of Newcastle

Date & Time: Thursday 29 June, 1.00pm - 2.00pm,

Venue: Australian Hearing Hub, Room 1.620

Psychological resilience can be defined as individual’s ability to withstand and adapt to adverse and traumatic events. Resilience is traditionally assessed by subjective reports, a method that is susceptible to self-report bias. An ideal solution to this challenge is the introduction of standardised and validated physiological and/or biological predictors of resilience. I will provide a summary of the major concepts in the field of resilience followed by a critical review of the literature around physiological, neurochemical and immune markers of resilience. In future experimental protocols, biological markers of resilience should be assesses both during baseline and during laboratory stressors. In the former case the most promising candidates are represented by heart rate variability and by in vitro immune cells assay; in the latter case – by startle responses (especially their habituation) during stress challenge and by cardiovascular recovery after stress, and by cortisol, DHEA and cytokine responses. Importantly, they should be used in combination to enhance predictive power. 

A/Prof Nalivaiko is a head of the Neurocardiology Laboratory at the School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy of the University of Newcastle. He obtained with MD (1981) and PhD (1986) in Ukraine, and conducted his post-doctoral training at CNRS (Paris), Strasbourg University (France), St. George’s Hospital Medical School (London) and at the Research Centre of Sanofi (Montpellier, France). In 1997 he moved to Flinders University (Adelaide) where he have established his own group, and in 2008 accepted the Senior Lecturer position at the University of Newcastle (A/Prof from 2010).  Eugene’s expertise in in the brain-body interaction; he is currently involved in two projects: i) mechanisms of motion sickness; ii) biomarkers of resilience. Eugene co-authored 94 journal publications and 3 book chapters.

No RSVP required.

Blending Adaptive Learning, Learner Support, and Evidence-Centered Assessment Design in Simulation-based Learning Environments

Speaker: Associate Professor Fengfeng Ke, Florida State University

Date & Time: Tuesday 11 July, 10.30am - 12.00pm 

Venue: X5B 012, Macquarie University.

Across varied initiatives for education reform in curriculum, pedagogy, and teacher preparation, a common proposition or objective is to focus on in-depth understanding and the ability to connect school subjects and real-world problem solving. It is warranted to develop and implement a structured, engaging, meaningful, and dynamic learning platform that facilitates and assesses learning through and for activities of real-world problem solving.

This presentation will provide a description of multiple ongoing, longitudinal projects on designing simulation-based immersive learning environments that integrate data-driven measurement and support of learning in digital gaming and virtual reality systems. It will introduce the design protocols regarding the intrinsic integration of active learning task development, authentic learning assessment, and adaptive learner support in a highly interactive learning environment. The presentation will also review the theoretical and empirical perspectives on current challenges, potential solutions, and directions for the design and implementation of game- and simulation-based learning in school settings.

Dr. Fenfeng Ke is an Associate Professor of the Educational Psychology and Learning Systems at Florida State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Instructional Systems from Pennsylvania State University in 2006. Her current research focuses on game-based learning, immersive learning, computer supported collaborative learning, and inclusive design of e-learning. Some of her current projects, such as, MILE (“Mixed-Reality-Integrated Learning Environment”) use body-sensory-technology-enhanced learning platform to reinforce situated cognitive and metacognitive learning for online learners with diverse special needs. The other projects, such as, Earthquake Rebuild, have middle schoolers practice the math they are learning through architectural design. In a game-based environment learners are to use geometry and arithmetic in order to rebuild the city after an earthquake. This latter research particularly focuses on the ways that informal mathematical conjectures emerge and get transformed into formal mathematics knowledge through concrete application.

Everyone is welcome to attend and no RSVP is required.

Please address any questions and requests for further information to Jo Tuck at

Public lectures

Do you see what I see? The new frontier in vision

  • Discover why the way you see objects and faces, and your ability to recognise them, may be different from that of others. 
  • Learn how cognitive neuroscientists are developing tests to precisely measure and compare these visual recognition abilities. 
  • Hear about research that is revealing how your brain processes visual information and how this changes with experience and practice.

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Sport-related concussions: consequences in the short and long term

  • Gain insights into why concussion amongst athletes is a major health crisis that needs to be addressed by treatment approaches that consider the underlying cause of the concussion.
  • Understand some of the mechanisms that may explain how multiple concussions can lead to progressive cognitive decline, and some of the treatment options that are currently being developed and tested.
  • Find out about a program of treatment delivery that is being implemented in Canada, with the aim of reaching as many sufferers of the enduring symptoms of concussion as possible.
  • Receive some general information on the short and long-term effects of single and multiple concussions

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Childrearing experts: Who to believe?

  • Gain insights into how you should respond to prolific expert opinions that currently exist about child development.
  • Find out if one size or 'advice' fits all, at all times and in all situations.
  • Learn about different areas, like moral behaviour, and how you can achieve the results you would like for your child.

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A Day on Drugs: What's the problem and how to reduce it

  • Consider addiction processes from different perspectives to provide a multi-disciplinary understanding of addiction
  • Reassess current therapies and their therapeutic efficacies
  • Help to determine pathways for translating research and to learn how industries can broaden this reach to impact our population.

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