Paul Bourke Lectures

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The Paul Bourke Lecture is named in honour of the late Paul Francis Bourke (1938–1999), President of the academy from 1993–1997. The lecture is presented each year by the recipient of the previous year’s Paul Bourke Award for Early Career Research. The lecture is presented at the lecturer’s home university and is open to the public. It is usually held in the first half of the year.

Paul Bourke Lecture 2016- Novel directions in population mental health research

The high prevalence of mental health problems in Australia continues to place a significant burden on society. To reduce this burden on individuals and communities, new evidence-based approaches to assessment, prevention and treatment are required. Three novel approaches to population mental health research will be discussed. Firstly, a data-driven approach to assessing mental health is […]

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Paul Bourke Lecture 2014- Mauve Mondays and orange odours

In this lecture, Associate Professor Rich discusses her research on synaesthesia and the mappings we all have between our senses, giving insights into the way the brain integrates information for conscious perception of the world. About the speaker Associate Professor Anina Rich is co-director of the Perception in Action Research Centre (PARC) and heads up the Synaesthesia@Macquarie research group. […]

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Paul Bourke Lecture 2013- Training the multi-tasking brain

Despite the immense processing power of the human brain, severe ‘bottlenecks’ of information processing are revealed when individuals attempt to perform two, even simple, tasks concurrently – that is, multitasking. Under such conditions, performance of one or both tasks is impaired relative to when the tasks are performed in isolation. This performance impairment is exacerbated as humans age and in many psychiatric and neurological conditions. It is thus vital to understand how these multitasking limitations arise and how they can be alleviated. It has previously been shown that multitasking limitations can be drastically reduced with cognitive training. However, the neural basis for these training effects has not been elucidated.

In this lecture Dr. Dux will present behavioural, brain imaging and brain stimulation data which shows that a network of frontal brain regions (including posterior lateral prefrontal cortex, superior medial frontal cortex, and bilateral insula) is associated with capacity limits in perception and decision making. He will also provide evidence that training can reduce multitasking impairments by increasing the processing efficiency of the posterior lateral prefrontal cortex rather than by funneling information away from this bottleneck region.

Update 2013-12-12: Download the presentation slides [PDF 11.7 MB].

Some links to relevant papers from the talk:

http://www.cell.com/neuron/abstract/S0896-6273(06)00903-2

http://www.cell.com/neuron/abstract/S0896-6273(09)00458-9?switch=standard

http://www.pnas.org/content/108/33/13426.abstract

http://www.jneurosci.org/content/33/47/18654.short

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Paul Bourke Lecture 2011- The changing world of HIV medicine and the general practitioners who provide it

Health workforce shortages are commonly described in media and policy discourse as an increasing problem for many ‘advanced liberal’ nations, including Australia. While the structural and economic explanations for this have become the subject of considerable debate and resourcing, less attention is paid to the social meanings ascribed to particular areas of healthcare work and […]

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Paul Bourke Lecture 2010- Genetics and pharmacology of executive control

Humans are characterised by a remarkable ability for flexible thought which enables us to interact in a complex social world. By selecting appropriate thoughts and actions and inhibiting those that are inappropriate, we are able to guide behaviour on a moment to moment basis. The consequences of disruption to these “executive” abilities can be dramatic, […]

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