Brain and mental health


The Meinzer lab is broadly interested in the way the nervous system supports cognitive function (e.g. language, memory, attention) and motor function in healthy individuals. 

The lab also investigates how different pathological conditions like stroke or dementia affect brain function. This research uses state-of-the art behavioural, neuroimaging and brain stimulation techniques.

The lab also develops novel therapies based on basic neuroscience to counteract the decline in functional skills in old age and to improve cognitive and motor impairment in the wider community.   

The lab conducts both:
(a)    proof-of-concept studies that investigate the neural mechanisms underlying potential treatment strategies, and;
(b)    studies that aim to translate basic research into clinical applications. The latter is accomplished within both national and international clinical trials.


This research requires a highly interdisciplinary approach. The Meinzer lab collaborates with numerous researchers from different fields (e.g. psychology, speech pathology, medicine, physics, engineering, sports science) in Australia and internationally in Germany, the United States and Finland. 

This research is currently funded by a number of organisations, including the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council. 


+61 7 3346 6001

Main Australian collaborations

Aphasia and neurolinguistics projects, clinical trials
Prof. Greig deZubicaray (Queensland University of Technology)
Prof. David Copland (UQ Centre for Clinical Research) 
Assoc/Prof. Miranda Rose (La Trobe University, Melbourne)

Functional imaging projects
Prof. Michael Breakspear (Queensland Institute for Medical Research, QIMR)
Assoc/Prof. Katie McMahon (UQ Centre for Advanced Imaging)

Dementia and mild cognitive impairment projects
Prof. Gerard Byrne (UQ Department of Psychiatry) 
Dr. Donel Martin (University of NSW/Black Dog Institute)

tDCS and motor function in health and disease
Prof. Andy Cresswell/Dr. Peter Poortvliet (UQ School of Movement Studies) 
Prof. Graham Kerr (Queensland University of Technology)

Prof. Wayne Hall (UQ Centre for Youth Substance Abuse)

Main international collaborations

Executive functions (response inhibition and response conflict)
Prof. Marco Steinhauser, University of Eichstätt, Germany

Language and motor recovery after stroke & intrascanner transcranial direct current stimulation
Prof. Agnes Flöel, Charite University Medicine, Berlin, Germany 

Collaboration in the context of a “Centre for Research Excellence” (Brain-Train, 2015-2018)
Prof. Matti Laine, Abo Academie University, Finnland

Functional imaging of brain ageing and aphasia
Prof. Bruce Crosson, Emory University, Atlanta, USA 

Multinational RELEASE project to identify predictors of aphasia outcome
Prof. Marian Brady, Dr. Louise Williams, Glasgow Caledonean University, Scotland

Perilesional and motor cortex (M1) transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) effects on brain language function in post-stroke aphasia

Investigates the neural mechanisms of two stimulation sites in aphasia using intrascanner tDCS and functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Chief investigators: A/Prof Marcus Meinzer, Professor David Copland, Professor Katie McMahon, Professor Greg de Zubicaray

tDCS effects on learning ability in ageing and mild cognitive impairment (MCI)

Investigates long-term effects of multisession tDCS on learning and cognition in ageing and MCI.

Chief investigators: A/Prof Marcus Meinzer, Professor David Copland, Professor Matti Laine, Professor Gerard Byrne, Dr kana Appadurai , Mr Garon Perceval

High-definition tDCS effect on theory of mind

Assesses potential positive effects of tDCS on social cognition in healthy young and older individuals using a novel type of focal brain stimulation.

Chief investigators: A/Prof Marcus Meinzer, Dr Andrew, Martin, Mr Garon Perceval