Mechanisms of Mental Health

Research Overview

Treatment of mental health issues has not improved in decades, despite our scientific understanding of the mechanisms which drive mental ill health being the best that it has ever been.

Led by Dr Caitlin Hitchcock, our research group works across the research trajectory to translate our basic science understanding of the mechanisms which predict and maintain psychological difficulties into innovative mental health interventions. Our program spans from experimental work, which elucidates how cognitive processes promote psychological disturbance, to trials of novel psychological interventions. We have a particular interest in the transdiagnostic cognitive mechanisms which predict the primary onset of mental illness and response to psychological interventions.

With members based at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge, and the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, we work in a global context to improve mental health interventions. We work closely with Australian and international treatment services to ensure that the latest research advances are used to inform clinical practice, and to increase access to evidence-based treatment in underserved communities.

Would you like to take part in research?

If you are interested in participating in future research projects completed by our team, you can register for our participant mailing list here.


  • Alicia Smith, PhD student
  • Patrick Haylock, PhD student
  • Uyen Doan, PhD student and Research Assistant
  • Leo Marcus, Masters student
  • Amelia Kirkpatrick, Research Assistant
  • Ning An, Honours student
  • Laura Broadbent, Honours student

We welcome expressions of interest from aspiring researchers and clinicians from disadvantaged backgrounds, and individuals with lived experience of mental ill health who may like to contribute to our research.


  • Dou Hong, former Research Assistant, currently a PhD student, University of Oxford.
  • Steph Raad, former Research Assistant, currently works at Orygen.


  • Australian Research Council
  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • UK Economic and Social Research Council

Research Outcomes

Examples of our research, written for the general community:

Research Projects

This Research Group doesn't currently have any projects

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cognitive Psychology and Behavioural Neuroscience, Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Head of Lab Dr Caitlin Hitchcock

Department / Centre

Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

Unit / Centre

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