When people hear “psychology”, they often think of either clinicians or counsellors. However, there is so much more to the field as a whole. Cognitive psychology focuses on understanding how humans think and behave. Researchers at UNSW within this branch of psychology study a wide range of topics, including decision-making, memory, attention, categorisation, risk, uncertainty, and much more! Every student will have the...
Investigating the effects of radiation on DNA
One of the risks associated with space flight is exposure to cosmic radiation. Humans who travel beyond the earth’s magnetosphere are not shielded from this radiation which can induce genetic changes (mutations) in all exposed cells. These genetic changes can lead to cancer. In this project, students will examine DNA that has been taken from organisms exposed to radiation to determine the number and type of mutations that have been induced. This will provide information...
Modelling infectious diseases
In a world plagued by infectious pathogens, biomathematics is used to predict the course of deadly epidemics, such as measles, ebola, influenza and even the zombie virus. In doing this, scientists are able to learn more about the pathogen, and test a variety of ways in which deaths can be averted. Students will explore the dynamics of an epidemic by modelling the spread of an infectious pathogen. The project involves...
Detecting operator fatigue using eye-motion metrics
Operators in many industries suffer from fatigue to varying degrees. In particularly in industries where safety plays an important role, such as in aviation, fatigue poses a seriously potential threat to human lives. With the development of eye-tracking system turning mature, being able to detect operator fatigue through their eye movements could possibly offer a practical way to enhance aviation industry safety. In this...
Quantifying saccadic suppression in patients with and without ocular disease
The observer scans the visual environment by directing attention through ballistic eye movements known as saccades. A saccadic event automatically induces ‘saccadic suppression’ in which the visual image is largely suppressed when the eyes are in motion. This is necessary to reduce the visibility of motion induced blur/smear which would otherwise reduce image clarity. However, in patients with ocular disease (such as glaucoma), ocular motor function is known to be...
The potential origins of cell-based life
Biology assembles itself. But how did the earliest cell assemble out of simple chemicals? In this project we try to understand how physical and chemical interactions could have assembled a primitive cell on early Earth. We well investigate how wet-dry cycles, for instance in a ‘warm little pond’ could bring about a leap in complexity from random chemicals to protocells that we can see under a microscope.