Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre

Affective Neuropsychiatry

Stream Leaders

A/Prof Ben Harrison & Dr. Chris Davey

Research Focus

Our aim is to better understand the neurobiological factors that contribute to the development, maintenance and treatment of anxiety and mood disorders: the most common and costly form of mental illness. Adopting a systems neuroscience perspective, our goal is to characterise how changes within key brain networks may account for the clinical manifestation of these disorders and the broad range of social and emotional impairments they engender. To do so, we primarily use functional MRI to map the activity of brain networks to group and individual differences in observed behaviour and mental state, as well as more enduring measures linked to personality and temperament. An ultimate goal of this work is to identify objective brain-based markers, or intermediate phenotypes, that are able to support translational research efforts directed towards the prevention and treatment of these disorders. Our work is enhanced by strong local and international collaborations; in particular, our studies in young people with major depressive disorder are supported through links with Orygen Youth Health and headspace; and with colleagues in Barcelona we participate in a large neuroimaging research project in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. New student projects will be regularly updated via the Opportunities link on the Centre’s homepage, or can be obtained directly by emailing A/Prof Harrison or Dr. Davey.

Research Methods

Colaborative Centres

Key Publications

Harrison BJ, Pujol J, Soriano-Mas C, Hernandez-Ribas R, Lopez-Sola M, Ortiz H, Alonso P, Deus J, Menchon JM, Contreras-Rodríguez O, Blanco-Hinojo L, Cardoner N. Neural correlates of moral sensitivity in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2012; 69 (7): 741-749
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Harrison BJ, Soriano-Mas C, Pujol J, et al. Altered corticostriatal functional connectivity in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009; 66(11):1189-1200.
Open Access Link:

Davey CG, Allen NB, Harrison BJ, Yücel M. Increased amygdala response to positive social feedback in young people with major depressive disorder. Biol Psychiatry. 2011; 69(8):734-41.
Pubmed Link:

Harrison BJ, Pujol J, Lopez-Sola M, et al. Consistency and functional specialization in the default mode brain network. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A. 2008; 105(28): 9781-9786.
Open Access Link:

Davey CG, Allen NB, Harrison BJ, Dwyer D, Yücel M. Being liked activated primary reward and midline self-related brain regions. Hum Brain Mapp. 2010 Apr;31(4):6608.
Pubmed Link:

Harrison BJ, Pujol J, Ortiz H, et al. Modulation of brain resting-state networks by sad mood induction. PLoS ONE 3 (3): e1794.
Open Access Link

Davey CG, Yucel M, Allen NB. The emergence of depression in adolescence: development of the prefrontal cortex and the representation of reward. Neurosci & Biobehav Reviews. 2008; 32(1):1-19.
Pubmed Link:

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