Cognition and Emotion Research Centre (CERC)

The Cognition and Emotion Research Centre (CERC) has a strong focus on applying experimental psychology approaches across the fields of cognitive psychology, neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. Collaborating with international researchers, we aim to increase understanding of cognitive and emotional functioning in older adults and clinical populations, and inform interventions.

World-leading research


We support researchers to extend their minds, so we can expand our knowledge of how the brain functions. 

Our facilities

We support our researchers with world-class research labs and a wide range of neuroscience equipment, including 3D eye tracking, a 64-channel EEG, a -80-degree freezer, and transcranial direct current stimulation equipment.

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Our work has an impact far beyond Australia. As such, we have built a strong network of international collaborators, in particular our Professorial Research Fellows: Professor Markus Heinrichs and Professor Helen Val Curran.

Meet our people

Featured projects

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Mechanisms of fear conditioning

Evidence suggests that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) temporarily alters fear consolidation. We examine the effects of tDCS in young people with high and low social anxiety.

Explore project
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Oxytocin’s effects on social cognition

This research seeks to further understand how oxytocin’s role in a wide range of disorders associated with social dysfunction, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Williams Syndrome and Social Anxiety Disorder.

Explore project
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Episodic foresight and clinical groups

Our research into episodic foresight and clinical groups investigates whether adult substance abusers and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder can imagine future events.

Explore project
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Memory train

Through our memory train project, run in partnership with Villa Maria Catholic Homes, we examine prospective memory in older adults and whether it is possible to enhance its function.

Explore project


Our people

Our scholars are experts in the fields of psychopharmacology, brain imaging, mild brain stimulation, psychophysiology, neuropsychology, clinical psychology and developmental psychology Meet our people

Study with us

We welcome enquiries from candidates looking to undertake higher degree research in a research environment of excellence, supported by expert staff and state-of-the-art facilities. Pursue research

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Become a candidate

Complete a masters by research or a PhD doctorate with us and make a valuable contribution to your field and your community.

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Our structure

Understand ACU’s organisational structure and learn more about our faculties, research, staff and administrative divisions. 

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Community engagement

As a university of service, we are committed to making an impact through ongoing community engagement and volunteering opportunities. 

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Our partnerships

We collaborate with industry, community, government and education partners to deliver knowledge and ideas with real-world impact.

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