PhD Completion Seminars - October 2016

The School would like to recognise Alison Crichton and Valerie Brown who will be presenting their PhD completion seminars this month.


PhD Candidate: Alison Crichton

Title: Fatigue after child brain injury

Date: Monday 3 October. 11am
Room: Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), Walford Room, Level 5

Abstract: This thesis examined fatigue after child traumatic brain injury, in three studies. Fatigue is one of the most common and severe initial symptoms after brain injury, yet longitudinal studies in children are lacking. Study one used a systematic review method to examine psychometrically robust measures of fatigue in childhood. Study two measured fatigue at 6 weeks after brain injury, from both parent and child perspectives, whilst examining mood, pain, and sleep outcomes. We examined factors associated with clinical levels of fatigue. Study three examined children at 6 and 12 months after injury, gaining new insights into the evolution of fatigue over time. The relationship between fatigue at 12 months and key pre-injury and post-injury symptoms was explored. Results provide new evidence on fatigue as a severe and persisting symptom after child brain injury and provide new avenues for future intervention.


PhD Candidate: Valerie Brown

Title: An Integrative Cognitive Vulnerability Model of Menopausal Hot flushes and Night Sweats

Supervisors:  Associate Professor Christina Bryant (main supervisor) and Professor Fiona Judd (secondary supervisor)

Date: Tuesday 11th October at 12.00pm
Location: Royal Women’s Hospital – Meeting Room 1D, Level 1

Abstract: Introduction: Despite evidence that thoughts and emotions play an important role in the perception of hot flushes and night sweats (HFNS), little research has focused on the filtering role of menopausal schemas and how women’s cognitive/emotional vulnerabilities may contribute to those schemas.


PhD Candidate: Daniel Bennett

Title: Belief updating and information seeking in decision making under uncertainty

Supervisors: Dr Stefan Bode, Dr Carsten Murawski, A/Prof Robert Hester

Date: Friday 14th October, 10am
Venue: Rm 1120 Redmond Barry Building, University of Melbourne

Abstract: Recent research has proposed that a primary computational function of the brain is the construction and maintenance of internal models of the external environment. The present thesis explored the implications of this perspective for two domains of decision making under uncertainty: belief updating and information seeking. In the first part of this thesis, two EEG experiments investigated the neural correlates of belief updating and the effects of incentive motivation on the use of Bayesian versus heuristic learning styles. In the second part of the thesis, two behavioural experiments and one EEG experiment investigated participants' preference for acquiring non-instrumental information. Overall, results demonstrate that a model-centric research perspective has substantial explanatory power for behavioural and neural data in human decision making under uncertainty.