Psychology at UNSW is ranked #16 in the world by the 2016 QS world rankings by subject. It is the leading School in Australia and attracts more per capita research funding than any other School of Psychology. It is the only School of Psychology in Australia to have attracted the highest rating (5 - well above world standard) in its submissions to all three of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessments conducted by the Australian Government (2010, 2012, 2015).

Because of the success of the academic staff within the School in attracting external funding to support their research and that of their students, research facilities are of a very high standard. Research facilities within the school include several purpose-built laboratories.

Read about some of UNSW Psychology's Rising Stars.

To discover some of the latest research findings from the UNSW School of Psychology, explore the current projects listed under Areas of Expertise or follow one of the links below:

Featured Research Area:

Recently Awarded Grants and Fellowships:


  • Constructing a unified model of human memory, 2017, $688 000, Dr Muireann Irish.
  • How the brain parses danger signals, 2017, $477 500, Professor Gavan McNally.
  • The neural substrates of a false fear memory in rats, 2017, $426 000, Dr Nathan Holmes.
  • Capture and control: Overcoming distraction by reward-related stimuli, 2017, $393 000, Dr Mike Le Pelley, Dr Steve Most.
  • Mapping ventral pallidal circuits for relapse to appetitive motivation, 2017, $388 000, Dr Asheeta Prasad.
  • Neural circuits underlying the reinstatement of food reward-seeking, 2017 $345 000, Zhi Yi Ong.
  • Impaired fear inhibition in adolescence: an imbalance in the brain? 2017 $340 000, Dr Kathryn Baker.
  • Foundations of the tolerance to illumination variation in human vision, 2017 $331 000, Dr Damien Mannion.
  • Deciphering the electrophysiological signature of inner speech, 2017 $304 000, Dr Thomas Whitford.
  • Accounting for taste: from sensation to aesthetic appreciation, 2017 $270 000, Associate Professor Branka Spehar.


  • Pain and the Brain: Understanding and modulating the critical brain mechanisms that underlie chronic pain, 2017, Al & Val Rosenstrauss Fellowship, $400 000, Dr Sylvia Gustin

Recently Published Research:

  • Prasad, A.A., & McNally, G.P. (2016). Ventral pallidum output pathways in context-induced reinstatement of alcoholseeking.The Journal of Neuroscience, in press
  • Baker, K. D., & Richardson, R. (in press). Pharmacological evidence that a failure to recruit NMDA receptors contributes to impaired fear extinction retention in adolescent rats. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. doi:
  • Baker, K. D., & Reichelt, A. C. (2016). Impaired fear extinction retention and increased anxiety-like behaviours induced by limited daily access to a high-fat/high-sugar diet in male rats: Implications for diet-induced prefrontal cortex dysregulation. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 136, 127-138. doi:
  • Cobos, P. L., Gutiérrez-Cobo, M. J., Morís, J., & Luque, D. (in press). The effect of dependent measure and time constraints on the expression of different and conflicting generalization processes. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. doi: 10.1037/xlm0000335

In Profile

Ethics and Sona Resources

Please follow the links below for more information and resources on the Research Participation program for staff and graduate students. You should save each document to your network drive (z: drive) and edit it from there to avoid losing changes.