Psychology and cognitive sciences

In ERA 2015, research in psychology and cognitive sciences received a rating of 4 out of 5 – ‘performance above world standard’ – as did the sub-discipline research area of psychology.

Macquarie’s innovative, translational research in psychology and cognitive science is conducted in partnerships across the University – involving researchers in linguistics, education, medical and health sciences, statistics and beyond.

Major contributions

Macquarie is the host institution for the $21 million ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD). The CCD is a Macquarie flagship of cross-disciplinary, challenge-focused research, consistent with our strategic research objectives and goals. It leverages the expertise of researchers in psychology, linguistics, philosophy, neuroscience and clinical science who link theoretical models and basic findings as they work to help understand and treat cognitive disorders in reading, memory, language, perception and belief.

There also has been sustained strategic investment in psychology through major University research centres. The Centre for Emotional Health capitalises on Macquarie’s research strengths in clinical psychology and leads the world in understanding and treating anxiety, depression and related mental health problems experienced by adults and children.

Additional research centres in language sciences (Centre for Language Sciences), human perception and action, expertise and training (Centre for Elite Performance, Expertise and Training), and physical health bring together outstanding and emerging researchers whose work in clinical, cognitive, and applied psychology aims to be both theoretically-driven and make a practical difference to the Australian community.


Accolades include ARC Laureate Fellow Professor Ron Rapee’s Member of the Order of Australia (for services to science and the community), six ARC Future Fellows, as well as fellows from Australia’s learned academies of Social Sciences, Humanities and Science.

Furthermore, Macquarie’s developing researchers have been honoured with awards from Australian and international organisations for their research excellence and translational successes. These include: 

  • Tall Poppy Awards
  • Australian Psychological Society Early Career Awards
  • American Psychological Association Early Career and Leadership Awards
  • ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards 
  • NHMRC Early Career Fellowships.

National research centres

ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD) 

  • Distinguished Professor Stephen Crain (Director) 

The Hearing CRC 

  • Associate Professor Cath McMahon 

NHMRC Centre of Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use (Macquarie Node) 

  • Associate Professor Andrew Baillie 

Macquarie University research centres

Centre for Emotional Health 

  • Professor Jennifer Hudson (Director)

Centre for Language Sciences 

Associate Professor Rosalind Thornton

Centre for Elite Performance, Expertise and Training (CEPET) 

  • Professor Bill Thompson (Director) 
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