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The Active Brain is a Research Group at the University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia. Their research investigates the interrelationship between human movement and the brain, seeking to optimise health and performance.

Twitter: @ActiveBrainUC


LinkedIn: LinkedIn group

Medium ActiveBrainUC on Medium

Our 2020 Conference ActiveBrain2020 in Canberra was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID.

Members[edit | edit source]

  • Dr Kristy Martin
  • Dr Andrew Flood
  • Dr Joe Northey

Past group members

Students[edit | edit source]


  • Annaleise Horsburgh, PhD
  • Keely McDicken, PhD
  • Vicki McCarthy, PhD
  • Alanah Pike, PhD
  • Aidan Lewis, PhD
  • Yleia Mariano, PhD
  • Amanda Scott, MRes
  • Alex McKenzie, PhD
  • Melissa Muzeau, PhD
  • Nicholas Lawlis, PhD
  • Tino Toufexis, PhD
  • Travis Ronaldson, PhD

Graduated students

  • Clare Quinlan, PhD
  • Andrew Flood, PhD
  • Kristy Martin, PhD
  • Joe Northey, PhD
  • Clare Quinlan, PhD
  • Lori McWhirter, Honours
  • Jeremy Sadler, Honours
  • Alanah Pike, Honours
  • Nicolas Lawlis, Honours
  • Ashley Ikin, Honours
  • Alex Hewitt, Honours
  • Brittany Smale, Honours
  • Lauren Egle–Marshall, Honours
  • Yleia Mariano, Honours

Visiting scholars[edit | edit source]

  • Charles Hillman (Professor, NorthEastern - 2023)
  • Romain Meeusen (Professor, VUB - 2017, 2019)
  • Alan St Clair Gibson (Professor - 2015)


  • Arthur Peryard (Masters candidate, France - 2013)
  • Lincoln Karthchner (UG Neuroscience student, USA - 2016)
  • Luca Filipas (PhD candidate, Italy - 2018)

Partnerships[edit | edit source]

  • On Running
  • Australian Institute of Sport
  • Defence Science and Technology Group
  • The Australian Army
  • Dementia Collaborative Research Centre
  • ACT Fire and Rescue
  • Brumbies Rugby

Institutional collaborators[edit | edit source]

  • Australian Institute of Sport
  • New South Wales Insitute of Sport
  • The Australian National University
  • Central Queensland University
  • Edith Cowan University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • North-eastern University, USA
  • Indiana University, USA
  • Laval University, Canada
  • University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres, Canada
  • The University of Waikato, New Zealand
  • University of Kent, UK
  • Northumbria University, UK
  • University of Lincoln, UK
  • University of Exeter, UK
  • Team Danmark, Denmark
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium
  • Saarland University, Germany

Equipment[edit | edit source]

The Active Brain group have access to a range of facilities and equipment at UC including:

Brain & related imaging/tracking
  • EEG (hardware - 64-channel AntNeuro EEGO Sport system)
  • EEG (software - Brain Vision analyser 2)
  • Transcranial doppler ultrasound (DWL - dual probe; connected through PowerLab)
  • Pupillometry (Pupil Labs)
  • fNIRS (Artinis)
Brain related tools
  • Cognitive software packages (including e-Prime, Millisecond)
  • Data and analysis packages (e.g., Labview, MatLab)
  • Psychological tools
  • Driving simulator (Hyperdrive - compact)
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulator (Neurosoft NEURO-MS/D Advanced therapeutic w integrated EMG)
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation
Physiological monitoring
  • Blood pressure (Finapress Finometer MIDI)
  • Skin conductance
  • Accelerometry (Actigraphs)
  • Ventilatory gas anlaysis
  • ECG
  • Heart rate/HRV
  • Routine blood analysis
  • Advanced blood analysis
Exercise Science equipment
  • Environmental chamber (hypoxia and temperature/humidity)
  • SRM cycle ergometer (SRM & Lode)
  • Recumbent cycle ergometer (Lode)
  • various treadmill ergometers

Grant income[edit | edit source]

2023[edit | edit source]


  • Muzeau M, Rattray B, Keegan R & Staiano W. (2023-2026). Perception of effort through brain signals monitoring. Collobrative Research agreement. Industry funding from On AG (ON Running). AUD$235,350
  • Rattray B, Cherbuin N, Martin K, Northey J, Lampit A, Paterson C & Pranavan G. (2023-2025). Cognitive impairment in survivors of prostate cancer: combining cognitive and physical activity for a brain fog fix. The award is funded by Wereld Kanker Onderzoek Fonds (WKOF), a member of the World Cancer Research Fund network based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Cancer Australia (CA), and administered by World Cancer Research Fund International. The total grant awarded is £59,981.90 (€67,358.00) (~AUD$104,000).
  • Swann C, Goddard S, Schweickle M, Stevens C, Vella S & Keegan R. (2023). How can the latest scientific evidence on optimal performance states enhance the support Athletics Australia provides to its sprint, power and endurance athletes? AIS Research and Development Grant Program 2023 (NHPSRA). $49,599.

2022[edit | edit source]


  • Keegan RJ, Summers SJ, Flood A, Martin K, Rattray B & Crone D. (2022). Implementation and Ecological Validation of the Acute Readiness Monitoring Scale (ARMS). Department of Defence through DST Group and the Australian Army $369,349.
  • Barnett LM, Keegan R, Dudley DA, Derbyshire A, Ridgers ND, Salmon J, Jerbine A, Arundel L & Hesketh KD. (2022). Physical Activity and Physical Literacy Measurement. Australian Sport Commission RFQ22/144 $357,000.
  • Freene N, Davey R, McPhail S, Gallagher R, Kunstler B, Tyack Z, Keegan R, Niyonsenga T, Verdicchio C & Abhayaratna, W. (2022). A very brief intervention for physical activity behaviour change in cardiac rehabilitation: the ‘Measure It!’ trial. 2021 MRFF Cardiovascular Health Mission $510,070.

2021[edit | edit source]

  • Rattray B, Martin K, Keegan R, Northey J, Flood A, Lampit A & Periard J. (2021). Combined cognitive and physical training for enhanced human performance. Department of Defence through Defence Science and Technology Group. $247,166

2020[edit | edit source]

  • Keegan R, Rattray B, McKune A, Martin K, Pyne D, Petersen K, Appaneal R. Extension to: An integrated approach to monitoring occupational demands and improving resilience and performance readiness in military personnel. Human Performance Research Network (HPRnet) - DST Group and the Australian Army. $101,202

2017[edit | edit source]

  • Telford D, Clark B, Keegan R, Keegan S, Lowrie T, Telford R, Welvaert M, Wicks L. Revitalizing PE and Sport: The Victorian Regional Rural Physical Literacy Trial: Phase 2 Victoria 2017. Various funders. $150,000

2016[edit | edit source]


  • Thompson K, Keegan R, Rattray B, McKune A, Martin K, Pyne D, Petersen K, Appaneal R. An integrated approach to monitoring occupational demands and improving resilience and performance readiness in military personnel. Human Performance Research Network (HPRnet) - DST Group and the Australian Army. $450,000
  • Thompson KG, Pyne DP, Shephard M, Osbourne M. Achieving marginal gains: Perfecting the pacing strategies of Australian swimmers. Queensland Academy of Sport, Australian Institute of Sport, Swimming Australia. $77,400
  • Thompson KG, Pyne DP, Shephard M, Osbourne M. Maximising pacing strategies of Australian swimmers. The Australian Sports Commission and Swimming Australia and Queensland Academy of Sport. $24,281
  • Hassmen P, Thompson KG, Keegan R, Appaneal R. Resilience and mindfulness in elite sport. AIS PhD scholarship funding $78,864
  • Keegan R, Barnett L, Dudley D, Farrow D, Lubans D, Morgan P, Okely T, Salmon J, Telford D, Vella S. Research services for the Physical Literacy Project. $198,263

2015[edit | edit source]

  • Rattray B, Smee D, Northey J and Versey N. Effects of compression garments for cognitive performance during exercise. Australian Institute of Sport/Australian Sports Commission. $11,636.02

2013[edit | edit source]

  • Rattray B,Pumpa K, Smee D, Anstey K, Cherbuin N, and Bielak A. Improving exercise prescription for cognitive wellbeing and healthy ageing. Dementia Collaborative Research Centre - Early Diagnosis and Prevention - seed grants. $29,925.17

Journal papers[edit | edit source]

2023[edit | edit source]

  • Arnold DH, Johnston A, Adie J. & Yarrow K. (2023). On why we lack confidence in some signal-detection-based analyses of confidence. Consciousness and Cognition, 113, 103532.
  • Toufexis C, Macgregor M, Lewis A, & Flood A. (2023). The effects of high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation on pain modulation and stress-induced hyperalgesia. British Journal of Pain 2023. doi: 10.1177/20494637221150333
  • Gandrieau J, Schnitzler C, Cairney J, Keegan RJ, Roberts W, Barnett L, Bentsen P, Dudley D, Sum R, Venetsanou F, Button C, Turcotte S, Closes M, Rudd JR, Riga V, Mouton A, Vasickova J, Blanchard J, Mekkaoui L, Derigny T, Repond RM, Markovič M, Scheuer C, Potdevin F & Berrigan F. (2023). Development of ELIP to Assess Physical Literacy for Emerging Adults: A Methodological and Epistemological Challenge, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport,
  • Patterson K, Davey R, Keegan RJ & Freene N. (2023). Implementing a sedentary behavior change smartphone app in cardiac rehabilitation: a qualitative analysis guided by the Theoretical Domains Framework and COM-B. The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.
  • Barnett L, Jerebine A, Watson-Mackie K, Arundell L, Dudley D, Keegan RJ, Salmon J, & Ridgers N. (2023). Validity, Reliability and Feasibility of Physical Literacy Assessments designed for School Children: A Systematic Review. Sports Medicine.

2022[edit | edit source]

  • Keegan, R.J. (2022). How Coaches, Parents and Peers Influence our Motivation in Sport: Motivational Climate. Frontiers Young Minds.  (**A special journal to engage young audiences)
  • Proost M, Habay J, de Wachter J, de Pauw K, Rattray B, Meeusen R, Roelands B & van Cutsem J. How to tackle mental fatigue: A systematic review on potential countermeasures. Sports Medicine (2020 IF: 11.136). Accepted 20 March 2022.
  • Martin K, Flood A, Pyne DB, Périard J, Keegan R and Rattray B. The impact of cognitive, physical and psychological challenges on subsequent cognitive performance. Human Factors. (2019 IF: 3.165). Accepted 7/11/2021.
  • Flood A & Keegan R. Cognitive resilience to psychological stress in military personnel. Frontiers in Psychology. 809003. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2022.809003
  • Liddelow, C., Schweickle, M.J., Sutcliffe, J.T., Swann, C., Keegan, R.J., Rice, S., Okely, A., Vella, S.A. (2022). A Protocol for National Mental Health Guidelines for Community Sport in Australia. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine. 2022;8: e001426. doi:10.1136/bmjsem-2022-001426

2021[edit | edit source]

2020[edit | edit source]

2019[edit | edit source]

2018[edit | edit source]

2017[edit | edit source]

2016[edit | edit source]

2015[edit | edit source]

2014[edit | edit source]

2013[edit | edit source]

2012[edit | edit source]

2011[edit | edit source]

This user is a student, graduate, or staff member of the University of Canberra.