Friday, 19 February 2016

Former Staff Member Rejoins the School of Psychology to Research Bipolar Disorder and Mathematical Models in Human Decision Making

Conjoint Associate Professor Rachel Heath rejoined the staff of the School of Psychology in 2015, 40 years after starting as Lecturer in Psychology at this University. Rachel’s current research has involved the discovery of a new mathematical method for predicting bipolar disorder episodes. In collaboration with Professor Greg Murray from the Swinburne University of Technology, Rachel showed how an index derived from physical activity measurements could detect the early signs of a manic episode in a young person diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This paper has been accepted for publication in Fractal Geometry and Nonlinear Analysis in Medicine and Biology. Rachel also published a paper in Nonlinear Dynamics in Psychology and Life Sciences showing how fluctuations in mood ratings obtained from a unipolar depressed person can be represented by nonlinear processes that approach the edge-of-chaos.

Rachel has dedicated both these papers in memory of Susan Heath (1950-2014).

Rachel and her contrabassoon: