Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health is one of the world’s top six brain research centres. We employ 600 research and support staff and educate 90 post-graduate students each year. Our scientists comprise the largest neuroscience research team in Australia.

Our teams work across a variety of disease states such as stroke, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, motor neuron disease, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, mental illnesses including schizophrenia, depression and addiction. We are world leaders in imaging technology, stroke rehabilitation and epidemiological studies.

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Displaying 1 - 20 of 41 articles

Our language abilities are enabled by a co-ordinated network of brain regions that have evolved to give humans a sophisticated ability to communicate. [bastian.]/Flickr

What brain regions control our language? And how do we know this?

When you read this text, certain regions in your brain begin working more than others. Advanced imaging allows scientists to map the brain networks responsible for understanding language.
Motor symptoms of Parkinson’s include tremors, stiffness and slowness or loss of spontaneous movement. Lisa/Flickr

What we know and suspect about the causes of Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is the second-most-prevalent neurodegenerative condition in Australia, with an estimated 70,000 living with the disease. But what do we know about the causes and risk factors?
The health sector can learn from other industries that turn to operations research to fix everyday challenges. Anna Jurkovska/Shutterstock

Hospitals don’t need increased funding, they need to make better use of what they’ve got

Fixing the hospital system is not just a matter of more funding. Hospitals need to work smarter, not harder.
The brain implant sends signals to anything from a bionic prosthetic limb, to a full body ‘exoskeleton’ Rex Bionics

How ‘mind-controlled’ bionic devices could help quadriplegics walk

A 3cm-long stent containing 12 electrodes could one day help people living with spinal cord injury to walk with the power of thought.
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions in the world. from shutterstock.com

Epilepsy: sorting the myths from the facts of a common disorder

Saying someone has epilepsy is a little like saying they're ill. Its cause can vary from a brain tumour to an inherited genetic condition, the consequence of injury or a disorder affecting the brain.
Epigenetic molecules play a different melody on different people’s genomes, and this might be contributing to some developing autism. Jesse Kruger/Flickr

Music of the genome hits a discord with autism

The epigenetic 'musicians' that play our genomes in different ways might help us understand the causes of autism.
The human brain leaves computers behind with its endless capacity for problem solving, innovation and invention. Humphrey King/Flickr

Health Check: four key ways to improve your brain health

The human brain is the most extraordinary and complex object in the known universe, a kilogram and a half of soft tissue that, at its peak, leaves computers behind with its endless capacity for problem…
The amount of sun exposure and associated vitamin D production is believed to underlie the geographical gradient in multiple sclerosis prevalance. Thomas Abbs/Flickr

Explainer: multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease affecting almost 25,000 Australians and more than 2.4 million people worldwide. It’s one of the leading causes of disability in young adults. Typically, the…
Brains exist in a dynamic bidirectional interplay with our bodies, and this has major implications for the health of both. Petri Damstén/Flickr

Mind over matter: cynics, it seems, triple their risk of dementia

I don’t want to sound too cynical, but recent research findings in dementia seem hard to believe. A study of over 1,000 people has found people who scored higher on a measure of cynicism during late life…
Once people reach a certain threshold of material comfort, extra money makes very little difference. Lotus Carroll/Flickr

Can money buy happiness?

If survey data are to be trusted, there’s a surprisingly weak relationship between money and happiness. As national incomes rise, happiness does not increase. Consider this: happiness in the United States…
As the queue grows, small increases in waiting times soon turn into dramatic spikes. Fotoluminate LLC/Shutterstock

GP co-payment would increase emergency department wait times

The introduction of a GP co-payment could see average emergency department visits increase by between six minutes and almost three hours, new modelling shows, as more patients opt for free hospital care…
Philosophers argue that people are not over and above the systems involved in information processing –we are our brains, plus some other, equally physical stuff. Tom Blackwell/Flickr (reszied)

Irresponsible brains? The role of consciousness in guilt

In the second instalment of Biology and Blame, Neil Levy considers how neuroscience can affect legal judgements. Can human beings still be held responsible in the age of neuroscience? Some people say no…
Viruses like this one may yet become a benevolent force in modern medicine. Microbe World/Flickr

From scourge to saviour: using viruses to treat serious disease

Viruses have traditionally been mankind’s enemies, causing disease and often mutating out of the reach of our medicines. But now a new technology is conscripting them into doing good. Viral vectors show…
In the face of pressures that turn us against each other, it pays to be aware of the potential costs of reducing sympathy. mrhayata/Flickr

Bad Samaritans: why people don’t step in to stop violence

Every now and then, and rarely far apart in time, the media features a story about an assault in public where bystanders failed to come to the victim’s aid. Of course, there are many possible reasons why…
The process of being born may affect how our brain develops and whether we’re susceptible to brain disorders. JoséMa Orsini

Giving birth to new insights into brain development and disease

Each one of us is the complex product of nature and nurture, genes and environment. They combine in a myriad of complex ways during embryonic and postnatal development to sculpt our brains and bodies…
Over the show’s three episodes, Todd Sampson tests whether it’s possible to enhance his mind, using exercises designed by scientists. ABC

Preview: ABC’s Redesign my Brain with Todd Sampson

We live in an age of great public fascination with minds and brains; books about brain plasticity, for instance, regularly make the bestseller lists. This fascination is not merely the product of our thirst…

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