This thesis investigated the impact of brain blood vessel integrity, cerebral oxygen consumption and blood flow on cognitive performance in normally aging adults. The research was conducted using various neuroimaging applications to measure different aspects of vascular function. The novel findings enhance scientific knowledge of the contribution of hemodynamic markers to memory and attention tasks. Specifically, in older adults, the reactivity of small capillaries in the hippocampus were found to contribute to memory function, and blood flow was inversely related to attention task performance.
The thesis concerns the creation and manipulation of ultra-cold gases of Fermions, which at such low temperatures and densities form exotic phases of matter. Specifically the gas of Fermions is constrained to two dimensions, and a breathing oscillation set up in the gas. The frequency of this breathing oscillation in certain regimes shows the existence of the 'quantum anomaly', a phenomenon of quantum physics.
This thesis examined how oxytocin, a brain hormone, changed the brain function in people suffering from body dysmorphic disorder; a severe and often misunderstood mental health condition. While more research is needed, the results suggest that oxytocin could be used to treat body dysmorphic disorder, by making patients more receptive to current psychological treatments.
This paper focused on the role of homework in psychotherapy for OCD, using a clinically diagnosed sample undergoing a 12 weeks online cognitive behavioural therapy program. While the benefits of using homework in therapy are fairly unanimous, the findings of this study provide insights into factors that may influence clients’ motivation to engage with homework tasks. This knowledge would ultimately help improving the process of homework planning, design, and application, and lead to more individually tailored treatments, and enhance the efficacy of psychological interventions.
Superfluidity and superconductivity are quantum mechanical features of gases of atoms cooled down close to -273.15 Celsius, where they display neither viscosity nor electrical resistence. Forcing a gas to live in a two-dimensional space almost all the superfluidity-related properties are enhanced and easier to test experimentally. In this thesis we conduct a study of a typical 2D phase, called FFLO, and we built a general setting to address the investigation of Fermi gases when brought to low-dimensionality by a new type of confinement. Results presented include signatures and protocols experimentalists might use to probe the systems we described.
This research draws upon process philosophy and complexity-oriented biology to propose an alternative to the mechanistic/reductionist paradigm dominating medicine. The ecological model conceives disease in terms of entrained responses to felt needs (or problems) and healing in terms of the reconfiguration of these responses towards a coherent response of the whole person. The model is compared with existing psychotherapies and holistic medicine that understand mind and body as a coherent field, and employ low-force interventions designed to prompt healing processes rather than control symptoms. The implications of the model for research and healthcare practices are discussed .
In recent decades, ultra-cold atomic gases (temperature scale of nano-Kelvin) have become versatile platforms to study many fascinating phenomena in various fields of physics, owing to their unprecedented purity and controllability of interactions and geometries. In this thesis, we aim to investigate a synthetic Raman-type spin-orbit coupling in a three-dimensional Bose gas. The spin-orbit coupling arising from the interaction of a particle’s spin with its motion plays a crucial role in physics. Our studies of the static and dynamic properties including the ground-state phases, collective oscillations, sound velocity and superfluidity, may help us better understand this exotic effect in nature.
Mark Tee presented the research titled “Modelling a Real-Time Multi-Sensor Fusion-Based Navigation System for Indoor Human-Following Companion Robots”. His work aimed to help solve a fundamental problem in ensuring that robots are able to reliably follow and accompany cognitively disabled children safely. The solution mimics how we humans visually perceive our surroundings in an unfamiliar place and approximate a path of least obstacles towards our destination. The novelty of this work is that the model is designed to accommodate existing navigation methods and commercially available components, bringing us closer to a future with a companion robot in every home.
The Transforming Growth Factor-beta (TGF-β) superfamily is a large family of proteins that are master regulators of tissue homeostasis. Their deregulated activities are associated with various human diseases. While numerous therapeutic agents have been developed for reducing supra-physiological levels of these proteins, progress toward therapeutics to restore protein levels has been less successful. This research demonstrates that by making targeted modifications to the amino acid sequences of selected TGF-β ligands, their half-lives, bioactivity, and activation status can be improved. Taken together, these approaches form a blueprint that will aid further research into TGF-β therapeutics.
This research project extended the understanding and developed a new model in relation to volumetric behaviour of a lime-stabilised unsaturated expansive clay by using net stress, void ratio, and moisture ratio, where suction was the dependent variable. The clay selected was a residual soil derived from a weathered quaternary basalt deposit located in Victoria, Australia. The new model has extended the current Monash Peradeniya Kodikara framework proposed by Kodikara (2012).