School Research

School of Psychology News



What is mobile phone radiation and how safe is it?

Australians love their smartphones: 88 per cent of us own at least one, and a whole generation has never known life without them.  But with pervasive smartphone use and associated radio waves they need to work, are there any health effects?

Hear what Professor Rodney Croft has to say

Shining the Light on Cyberbullying
Shining the Light on Cyberbullying in this 24/7 digital age, bullying is no longer limited to the classroom or playground. Associate Professor Mitch Byrne and honours student Kayla Steele from the School of Psychology are researching the cyber-bullying epidemic with a timely and unique study.
Read more on this cyberbullying research

Health-Related Lifestyle Factors and Sexual Dysfunction
A Meta-Analysis of Population-Based Research - Beyond the Abstract.  Identifying safe and non-intrusive treatments for various sexual dysfunctions is a primary objective for sexual health professionals.
Read more on this sexual dysfunction research

Celebrated for its medicinal properties but recognised as a trigger for mental illness, the good and the bad of cannabis go hand in hand
Read more about cannabis and schizophrenia

Researchers to investigate potential danger of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic energy.Read more about this study into possible health risks of mobile phone and Wi-Fi.

Golden partnership for personality disorders
In a partnership between South Western Sydney Local Health District and UOW’s Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders, Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies launches program for the treatment of personality disorders in south west Sydney.

Read more about Project Air and the Gold Card Clinics


New research centre to study medicinal cannabis

Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence to investigate quality and safety issues.

Read more about the new research centre to study medicinal cannabis.

Vice Chancellor's Interdisciplinary Research Excellence Award 
A/ Professor Robert Gorkin, Dr Jason McArthur, A/Professor Christopher Magee, A/Professor Kate Senior, Ms Laura Grozdanovski, Professor Geoff Spinks
Project: Project Geldom: Designing the Next-Generation Condom
Highly Commended:
A/Professor Melanie Randle, Dr Leonie Miller, Ms Joanna Stirling
Project: Identifying and Attracting Successful Foster Carers

Vice Chancellor's Award for Research Supervision
Highly Commended
A/Professor Peter Kelly

UOW Research Partnerships Recognised for Impact

UOW Partners for Research Impact Magazine

After the Game

It is often said that an athlete dies twice. Once when they take their last breath, and the other when they retire from sport. “When you hear athletes talk, you can get a sense of how much their identity is wrapped up in the sport. They’re not a person who swims, they are a swimmer,” says sports psychology expert Stewart Vella.

Read more about After the Game

Busting myths and setting the record straight on what happens when we close our eyes

“We’re living in a 24 hour society where people are trying to condense time to be able to do everything that they want to. And the first thing pushed aside in many people’s lives is sleep.”

Read more on Sleep on It

Why True Crime Captivates

From grisly murder cases to serial killers, what is it about tragedy that fascinates us?

Read more on Why True Crime Captivates

UOW receives $1.75M to explore next frontier of health and medical research

Researchers to investigate effects of long-term cannabis use, develop drugs to fight hospital superbugs and improve radiotherapy treatments.

Read more about the next frontier of health and medical research at UOW.

Adolescent males targeted in new mental health campaign

The Ahead of the Game program is using grassroots sport to prevent mental health issues in adolescent males.

Read more about the Ahead of the Game program.

World-first study investigates mobile phones and kid's sleep

Study investigates the effects of mobile phone emissions on the sleeping patterns of kids and teens.

Read more about this study into mobile phones and kid’s sleep.


School of Psychology Research Report 2015

Psychologists collaborate on Australia’s largest suicide prevention trial

Illawarra-Shoalhaven region chosen as one of four locations across NSW to implement new suicide prevention trial.

Read more on this trial

International Students Represent UOW at IEAA Transnational Education Forum

Read more on the IEAA Transnational Education Forum

Drug and alcohol expert chosen for special UN General Assembly

Psychologist campaigns for worldwide focus on treatment rather than incarceration for drug users.

Read more about this story

Study probes effects of missing persons to help those left behind

Researchers at the University of Wollongong are seeking participants to help them explore the emotional processes people go through when a loved one goes missing.

Read more about the study of effects of missing persons on those left behind.

Congratulations to Rodney Croft

Congratulations to Rodney Croft who was recently appointed Chair of the High Frequency Guidelines Project Group, within the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

ICNIRP is the peak international non-ionising radiation body, with their guidelines, for example, adopted by national health and safety agencies such as the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA).

The Project Group is tasked with developing the new electromagnetic radiation guidelines for the 100 kHz to 300 GHz range, which includes that emitted from the ever-topical mobile communications devices such as Wi-Fi, mobile phones and base stations.

The last guidelines were published in 1998, which makes this a particularly important development for ICNIRP and a great indication of the contribution that our faculty’s science is making to the community.

Congratulations Professor Frank Deane and Dr Peter Kelly

Congratulations to Professor Deane and Dr Kelly who have been awarded an IHMRI Collaborative Project Grant. The project is titled “Addressing problematic drinking of people living with severe mental illness: Feasibility of a peer delivered telephone intervention for people engaged with non-gov or gov funded health service”.

A team led by Frank Deane and Peter Kelly have also been awarded the Excellence in Research and Evaluation Award at the NSW Non-Government Alcohol and Other Drug Awards.

ACEBR Research Group – Prizes and Work

The ACEBR research group, led by Professor Rodney Croft, recently attended the Joint Annual Meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society and the European BioElectromagnetics Association.

PhD candidate Adam Verrender received 3rd prize for his presentation on the first study from his PhD, entitled “Pulse modulated radiofrequency exposure influences cognitive performance”.

Anna Dalecki also gave a very well received poster presentation based on some recent post-doctoral pilot work, “Testing the replicability of the effect of 14 Hz pulse modulated RF-EMF on EEG power in healthy adults: A pilot study”.

Well done Adam and Anna.

Well-Earned Award for Psychology’s Sarah Loughran

It’s a great pleasure to announce that the School of Psychology’s Dr Sarah Loughran has received the 2016 European Bioelectromagnetics Association (EBEA) Chiabrera Award. This is one of only two international awards in the bioelectromagnetics research area (the other, the d’Arsonval Award, being for senior researchers), and recognises the strongest contribution to bioelectromagnetics from researchers up to the age of 35. This comes on the heels of receiving an Early Career Scientist award recently at the International Non-Ionising Radiation Workshop in Cape Town.

Sarah has a strong research program addressing issues relevant to human sleep, including effects of psychosocial and environmental factors on sleep, and effects of sleep on psychological function. Of particular relevance to the Chiabrera Award is her work addressing the potential link between radiofrequency emissions (such as those from mobile phones and base stations) and human health, where her work has established a consistent pattern of effects of mobile phone-like radiation on brain function during sleep. Her work in this area is now focused on determining the relative importance of this effect in children and adolescents (is it more/less pronounced in the young, and is it important to health), as well as uncovering the mechanism responsible for it.

Other research currently underway in her laboratory includes the effect of ‘screen-time’ on sleep function (including its radiofrequency and optical radiation, as well as its behavioural dimensions), and the effect of mild sleep deprivation on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Sarah will be giving an acceptance presentation in Belgium in June at BioEM2016; we wish her the best for this and for her future research!

Body Movement Can Boost Children’s Learning

A recent UOW study found that children who enacted foreign language words through whole-body movements performed better at the end of the course.

Continue reading about how body movement can boost children’s learning.

Last reviewed: 31 January, 2019

Teaching Award Spring Session 2018

Congratulations to:
Best Lecturer:  Dr Samantha Reis
Best Tutor:  Erin Mison
As voted by the students 

Women in Health and Medical Research

Dr Esther Davies won the Dame Bridget Ogilvie Research/Clinical Excellence Award, which recognises the excellence of a woman researcher who has demonstrated high impact in their respective field.
Congratulations Esther.  Read more about women in Health and Medical Research

Psychology Colloquium

Autumn Session 2019
Wednesday 12:30-13:30
Location 41.104

Week 5: Friday, 5 April, room 41.153
Professor Roberto Caldera
Department of Psychology, University of Fribourg
Neural Representations of Faces are Tuned to Eye Movements

Week 6: 10 April
Vicky Nicholls
School of Psychology, UOW and Bournemouth University
Visual attention in naturalistic scenes


Week 8: 1 May
Dr Colin Palmer
School of Psychology, UNSW
Perceiving other people's direction of gaze

Week 11: 22 May
Dr Tim Byron
School of Psychology, UOW
Can't Get You Out of My Head: The Familiar and the Repetitive in Involuntary Musical Imagery

Recent Publications 

Chan, A.Y.C., & Morgan, S-J. (2018) Assessing children's cognitive flexibility with the Shape Trail Test. PLoS ONE 13(5): e0198254. 

Van Bergen, P., Bird, A., Andrews, R., (2018), ‘What do you earliest childhood memories say about you?’, The Conversation, 21 August 2018.

Marceau EM, Meuldijk D, Townsend ML, Solowij N, Grenyer BFS. (2018) Biomarker correlates of psychotherapy outcomes in borderline personality disorder: A systematic review. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 94, 166-178.

Grenyer, B.F.S
., Bailey, R., Lewis, K.L., Matthias, M., Garrety, T., Bickerton, A. (2018) A randomised controlled trial of group psychoeducation for carers of persons with borderline personality disorder. Journal of Personality Disorders Mar 5:1-15. doi: 10.1521/pedi_2018_32_340. [Epub ahead of print]

Kelly, P. J., Robinson, L. D., Baker, A., Deane, F. P., Osborne, B., Hudson, S., & Hides, L. (2018). Quality of life of individuals seeking treatment at specialist non-government alcohol and other drug treatment services: A latent class analysis. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 94, 47-54.

McGillion, M., Pine, J.M., Herbert, J.S., & Matthews, D. (2017) A Randomised Controlled Trial to Test the Effect of Promoting Caregiver Contingent Talk on Language Development in Infants from Diverse SES Backgrounds. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 58, 1122–1131. doi:10.1111/jcpp.12725