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About the CCD

ARC Centres of Excellence are prestigious research hubs in which experts from across the nation work in collaboration to extend Australia's international standing in areas of national priority. The ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD) offers unique opportunities for interdisciplinary and international collaborative research in the study of cognition, its disorders and their treatment. The ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders was launched in February 2011 and officially commenced in April 2011. Under the ARC Centres of Excellence scheme, the Centre received $21 million from the Australian Research Council across seven years (2011-2017).


The mission of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD) is to coordinate and conduct research in five areas of cognition: belief formation, language, memory, person perception, and reading.


The ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders will be recognised as a world-leading cognitive science centre, where scientists from across disciplines collaborate in order to link theoretical models and basic research findings in the cognitive sciences with outcomes focused on people with cognitive disorders.


The five CCD research areas, belief formation, language, memory, person perception, and reading, were chosen because they are well-understood from a theoretical point of view and because Australia has outstanding researchers in these areas. Starting with the expertise of these prominent Australian researchers, the CCD draws on the additional expertise from our partner investigators from around the world. The Centre integrates and coordinates research so that formal theories of human cognition can inform studies of cognitive processing using neural imaging techniques, as well as the assessment and intervention in cognitive disorders. Just as important, the findings from studies of neural imaging and from assessments and interventions in cognitive disorders, are used to advance cognitive theories.

The Centre's interdisciplinary research teams tackle several basic questions in cognitive science, and implement intervention programs that inform educational policy and clinical practice, with considerable potential impact for the health and social well-being of Australia. The five research programs inform the diagnosis and treatment of a range of cognitive disorders, including dyslexia, specific language impairment, autism, dementia and schizophrenia. Finally, the Centre further enhances Australia's international reputation in the study of cognition and its disorders.

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Research Nodes and Participating Institutions

The ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders brings together an extensive network of Australian and international research collaborators. The five collaborative research programs, which have been identified as CCD concentrations of research, each involve numerous research staff and students, and are administered at three Centre nodes and at a host of collaborating institutions. The administering node of the CCD is Macquarie University, with additional nodes at The University of Sydney and at The University of Western Australia. There are two other Australian collaborating institutions, the University of New England and The University of New South Wales. Plus, the CCD includes partner institutions from around the world: INECO Foundation, Argentina; LWL Universitätsklinikum der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany; Royal Holloway, University of London, UK; University College London, UK; The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong; University of East Anglia, UK; University of Kansas, USA; University of Oxford, UK; and University of York, UK.

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Governance and Management

Centre Director, Distinguished Professor Stephen Crain, is responsible for scientific leadership and strategic direction. The Chief Operating Officer is responsible for the operational management of the CCD. The CCD Research Management Committee is comprised of the Director, the Chief Operating Officer, and the other four Program Leaders. This Committee is responsible for the Centre's goals, policies, and performance indicators. The progress, future directions and outreach activities of the CCD are reviewed by an international Scientific Committee comprised of eminent scholars in cognitive science, and by an Advisory Board with representatives from academia and key community/advocacy organisations.

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Further Information

Contact Details

Telephone: +61 2 9850 4127
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