The NeuroRehabilitation and Ageing theme aims to advance knowledge about practice with neurological and ageing populations.

We focus on developing high quality evidence to support participation in the community and enable people to engage in independent living and productive activities. Our research groups are investigating topics such as community participation, cognitive rehabilitation, fatigue, vestibular function and balance, hearing, technology, and hypertonicity in people with health conditions such as acquired brain injury and stroke, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease as well as in active ageing. The theme includes researchers from speech pathology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, audiology and human movement science in collaboration with clinical operations.


The impact of the NeuroRehabilitation and Ageing theme includes:

  • Promotion of healthy, active and independent living for people with neurological conditions and in later life
  • Provision of mentoring and support for RET members, and in particular Early Career Researchers, to develop research strengths
  • Practical support for the development of grant applications
  • Enhanced public profile of SHRS neurorehabilitation and ageing research through showcasing and disseminating research findings
  • Development of research collaborations with internal and external clinical services

    Staff overview

    Chair: Professor Jennifer Fleming, Head of OT

    Deputy Chair: Dr Anna Copley, Lecturer, Speech Pathology

    Deputy Chair: Dr Anna Hatton, Senior Lecturer, Physiotherapy


    Academic and Research Staff

    Tammy Aplin, Research Fellow in Occupational Therapy

    Anthony Angwin, Senior Lecturer, Speech Pathology

    Sally Bennett, Ass/Prof in Occupational Therapy

    Sandy Brauer, Head of School, Physiotherapy

    Natalie Collins, Lecturer, Physiotherapy

    David Copland, Vice-Chancellors T&R Fellowship, Speech Pathology

     Jodie Copley, Associate Professor in OT

    Katie Ekberg, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

    Emma Finch, Conjoint Research Fellow (PAH-UQ), Speech Pathology

    Elise Gane, Conjoint Research Fellow (PAH-UQ), Physiotherapy

    Sjaan Gomersall, Senior Lecturer, Physiotherapy

    Caitlin Hamilton, Research Officer

    Louise Hickson, Associate Dean External Engagement, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences

    Annie Hill, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Speech Pathology

    Melanie Hoyle, Associate Lecturer, OT

    Venerina Johnston, RECOVER, Research Academic

    Robyn Lamont, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Physiotherapy

    Rebecca Nund, Lecturer, Speech Pathology

    Adriana Penman, Clinical Lecturer, Speech Pathology

    Freyr Patterson, Associate Lecturer, Occupational Therapy

    Tanya Rose, Senior Lecturer, Speech Pathology

    Anna Rumbach, Senior Lecturer, Speech Pathology

    Martin Sale, Senior Lecturer, Physiotherapy

    Sauro Salomoni, Research Fellow, Physiotherapy

     Nerina Scarinci, Head of Speech Pathology

    Dion Scott, Principal Scientific Officer

    Esther Smits, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, RECOVER, Human Movement

    Sandra Smith, Research Manager & Casual Academic

    Julia Treleaven, Lecturer, Physiotherapy

    Kristen Tulloch, Research Assistant

    Merrill Turpin, Senior Lecturer, Occupational Therapy

    Katrina Williams, Lecturer, Physiotherapy


    Clinic Staff

    Kelly Beak, Clinic Manager & Clinical Educator, Speech Pathology

    Amy Fagan, Clinical Operations Manage

    Research projects

    Project Title

    Funding body


    Optimizing cognitive performance by mimicking slow-wave sleep in the awake brain

    Office of Naval Research Global (US Department of Defence)

    Martin Sale Jason Mattingley

    Efficacy of prospective memory rehabilitation plus metacognitive skills training for adults with traumatic brain injury: a randomised controlled trial


    National Health & Medical Research Council

    Jennifer Fleming, David Shum, Tamara Ownsworth


    Implementing a novel language treatment for Cognitive-Communication Disorders: Perspectives of key stakeholders

    Speech Pathology Australia

    Anna Copley

    The effect of individualised, vibrotactile neurofeedback training on postural stability in older adults with hearing impairment: A randomised double-blind, placebo controlled multicentre trial (VIBRANT Trial)

    Sonova AG

    Louise Hickson, Sandy Brauer, Wayne Wilson, Barbra Timmer, Katrina Williams, Katrina Kemp


    PathFeel: Vibrotactile insoles to enhance mobility and activity in neuropathy.

    Global Connections Fund, Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering

    Anna Hatton, L Pape



    Vibrating shoe insoles to enhance balance and mobility in people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

    Ascensia Diabetes Care

    Anna Hatton, L Pape


    Textured shoe insoles to improve balance and walking in adults with diabetic peripheral neuropathy: a randomised controlled trial.

    General Grant, Diabetes Australia

    Anna Hatton, G Kerr, J Burns, Keith Rome, Joanne Paton




    Improving gait by way of plantar tactile stimulation: an exploratory RCT of the effects of prolonged wear of textured shoe insoles in people with Multiple Sclerosis.

    Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia

    Anna Hatton, Sandy Brauer,, G Kerr, Keith Rome, J Dixon, Katrina Williams

    Improving postural stability and reducing falls risk in people with Parkinson's disease using textured insoles: a randomised controlled trial.


    G Kerr , K Davids , Sandy Brauer, Anna Hatton, E Hennig

    Measuring intensity of activity after stroke using accelerometers and cadence


    University of Canberra

    Sandy Brauer,

    Establishing a Sonova-UQ Hearing and Balance Research Centre


    UQ Major Equipment and Infrastructure Grant

    Louise Hickson, Sandy Brauer,, Wayne Wilson, Barbra Timmer, Katrina Williams

    A physiotherapy exercise program with a self-management approach to improve physical activity in people with mild-moderate Parkinson's disease: A RCT

    Wesley Medical Research Ltd

    Sandy Brauer,, Robyn Lamont

    HDR students




    Project title/Description

    Anthea Bott


    Dr Carly Meyer, Prof Louise Hickson, A/Prof Nancy Pachana

    Dementia and hearing impairment: Exploring intervention options for residents in aged care facilities

    Chloe Bryant


    Prof Louise Gustafsson, Dr Tammy Aplin

    The role of occupational therapy in returning to intimacy after a spinal cord injury

    Alana Campbell


    Prof Louise Gustafsson, Dr Hannah Gulllo, Dr Rohan Grimley

    Mapping attention in acute stroke

    Salma Charania


    Dr Anna Rumbach, Dr Peter Cornwell, Dr Rebecca Nund

    Living with the effects of MND: the impacts of communication disorders on the person with MND and their carers

    Georgina Clutterbuck


    Dr Leanne Johnston, De Megan Auld

    SPORTS STARS: Effectiveness of GROUP versus INDIVIDUAL physiotherapy intervention to improve fundamental motor skills in young children with Cerebral Palsy

    Lay Fong Chin PhD Prof Sandy Brauer, Dr Kathryn Hayward Early limb (UL) intervention after stroke: are we doing it right?

    Olivea Galea


    Dr Shaun O’Leary, Dr Julia Treleaven

    Do impairments exist beyond expected recovery time following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and what is their relationship with self-reported symptoms?

    Jenniffer Garcia


    A/Prof Jodie Copley, Dr Merrill Turpin, A/Prof Sally Bennett

    Improving quality of occupational therapy practice in Chile by building reasoning and research capacity of Chilean occupational therapist

    Catherine Goodchild


    Prof Jennifer Fleming, Dr Jodie Copley

    What are the cognitive barriers and cognitive pre-requisites to engagement in active rehabilitation.

    Patricia Govender


    Dr Brooke Ryan, Dr Emma Finch

    Impact of the Action Success Knowledge (ASK) program on the psychological well-being and quality of life of people with mild aphasia

    Lachlan Kerley


    Dr Pamela Meredith, Dr Paul Harnett

    Understanding the links between sensory processing and attachment patterns: Considering the role of childhood experiences and autonomic functioning

    Genevieve Kieseker


    Dr Martin Sale, Prof Mark Horswill

    Effects of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation on Cognitive Performance

    Peter Lawrenson


     Dr Adam Semciw, A/Prof Magaret Crossley, Prof Bill Vicenzino,  Prof Paul Hodges

    Muscle activity and morphology in hip related pain

    Karen Lee-Steere


     AProf Sally Bennett, AProf Alison Mudge, Dr Jacqueline Liddle

    Improving the care of the older patient with or at risk of delirium in the acute care setting

    Chris Mackay PhD Prof Sandy Brauer, Prof Suzanne Kuys (ACU), Prof Stephen Riek The effect of aerobic exercise on neurotrophic factors, motor and cognitive function in people with stroke

    Kathryn Marshall


    Prof Jennifer Fleming, Prof Louise Gustafsson

    The exploration of Falls in the incomplete spinal cord injured population

    Leana Nichol


    Dr Anne Hill, Dr Amy Rodriquez, Dr Sarah Wallace

    Technology enabled self management of aphasia: when, how and what works

    Alexandra Picorelli


    Dr Michelle Smith, Dr Anna Hatton

    Understanding lateral reactive balance control mechanisms in older adults with hip osteoarthritis

    Andrea Rapolthy-Beck


    Prof Jennifer Fleming, Dr Merrill Turpin

    The Role of Occupational Therapy and Early Cognitive Therapy in Patients in Intensive Care Units

    Ingrid Rosenberg PhD Prof Sandy Brauer, Dr Rohan Grimley, Dr Kathryn Hayward Feasibility of creating an enriched environment and subsequent impact on activity levels for stroke patients in an acute stroke unit (EESI Tr)

    Shannon Scarff


    Prof Jennifer Fleming, Dr Emily Nalder, Dr Hannah Gullo

    Ecological assessment of patient cognition by the occupational therapist: The Multiple Errands Test-Revised in the Australian context

    Emma Schimke


    Prof David Copland, Dr Anthony Anguin

    The effect of sleep on novel word learning in healthy adults.

    Megan Swales


     Prof Deb Theodoros, Prof Trevor Russell, Dr Anne Hill

    The Assessment and Management of Cognitive-Linguistic Impairments in Parkinson's Disease via Telepractice

    Ruth Swanton


    Prof Louise Gustafsson, Dr Heather Froude, Dr Natasha  Lannin

    An investigation into the use of cognitive orientation to daily occupational performance (CO-OP) approach to improve participation outcomes for clients with stroke

    Bernadine Teng Sze Kee PhD Prof Sandy Brauer, Dr Anna Hatton, Dr Sjaan Gomersall Enhancing adherence to falls prevention exercises in older adults in Singapore

    Giovanna Tornatore


    Dr Hannah Gullo, Prof Jennifer Fleming

    Rehabilitation intensity for patients with upper limb impairment ? what is the impact on occupational performance.

    Hayley Walsh


    Prof Jennifer Fleming, Dr Narda Murillo

    The effectiveness of rehabilitation during post-traumatic amnesia

    Kerrin Watter


    Dr Emma Finch, Dr Anna Copley

    Investigating speech pathology clinical practice in early brain injury rehabilitation

    Katrina Williams PhD Prof Sandy Brauer, Dr Nancy Low Choy (ACU) Investigation of impairments and functional performance in people with multiple sclerosis and their responsiveness to physiotherapy intervention

    Yanfie Xie


    Prof Venerina Johnston, Dr Lucy Thomas,  Dr Brooke Coombes

    Characterization of muscle, sensory, and psychosocial features of idiopathic neck pain among sonographers

    Zhi Zhi Diong


    Dr Tanya Rose, Dr Carly Meyer, Dr Emma Power, DrSamantha Siyambalapitiya

    Current practice of aphasia management in Malaysia: point of beginning

    Featured publications

    Name of Publication


    Brain changes following four weeks of unimanual motor training: evidence from behavior, neural stimulation, cortical thickness, and functional MRI. Human Brain Mapping, 38 9: 4773-4787. (2017)

    Martin V. Sale, Lee B. Reid, Luca Cocchi, Alex M. Pagnozzi, Stephen E. Rose, Jason B. Mattingly

    Stimulus uncertainty enhances long-term potentiation-like plasticity in human motor cortex Cortex, 88 32-41. (2017)

    Martin V. Sale, Abbey S. Nydam, Jason B Mattingley

    Participant evaluation of an inpatient occupational therapy groups programme in brain injury rehabilitation Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 64(5), 391-399. (2017)

    Freyr Patterson, Jennifer Fleming, Emmah Doig, Janell Griffin

    Remediation of social communication impairments following traumatic brain injury using metacognitive strategy intervention: a pilot study. Brain Injury, 31 13-14: 1830-1839. (2017)

    Emma Finch, Petrea Cornwell, Anna Copley, Emmah Doig, Jennifer Fleming

    Undetected and undeserved: the untold story of minor stroke patients. Medical Journal of Australia, 206(8), 337-338. (2017)

    Emma C. Finch, Michele M. Foster, Jennifer Fleming, Philip D. Aitken, Ian Williams, Tegan Cruwys, Linda Worrall

    The efficacy of prospective memory rehabilitation plus metacognitive skills training for adults with traumatic brain injury: protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Trials, 18(3). (2017)

    Jennifer Fleming, Tamara Ownsworth, Emmah Doig, Lauren Hutton, Janelle Griffin, Melissa Kendall, David H. K. Shum

    Balance performance in older adults with hip osteoarthritis: a systematic review. Gait & Posture 65 99-99. (2018)

    Alexandra M.A. Picorelli, Anna L. Hatton, Elise M. Gane, Michelle D. Smith

    Between-leg differences in challenging single-limb balance performance one year following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Gait Posture 2016 52:22–25. (2017)

    Anna L. Hatton, Kay M. Crossley, Ross A. Clark, Timothy S. Whitehead, Hayden G. Morris, Adam, G. Culvenor

    The impact of environmental enrichment in an acute stroke unit on how and when patients undertake activities. Clinic Rehabilitation, 33(4), 784-95. (2019)

    Ingrid C.M. Rosbergen, Rohan S. Grimley, Kathryn S. Hayward, Sandra G. Brauer

    Improving physical activity after stroke via treadmill training and self management (IMPACT): a protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BMC Neurology. 18 (1) 1-8. (2018)

    Sandra G. Brauer, Suzanne S. Kuys, Jennifer D. Paratz, Louise Ada


    • Anna Hatton - 2016 Qld Young Tall Poppy Science Award, Australian Institute of Policy and Science
    • Jennifer Fleming - 2017 Fellow of the Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment


    For all general current HDR student queries and enquiries related to applications contact the HDR Liaison Officer: or +61 7 3365 7123

    For all enquiries related to research in the School, contact the Senior Administration Officer (Research): or +61 7 3365 2074

    • Dr Anna Copley

      Lecturer in Speech Pathology
      Lecturer in Speech Pathology & Lecturer in Speech Pathology
      School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
    • Professor Jennifer Fleming

      Head of Occupational Therapy
      Professor in Occupational Therapy
      School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
    • Dr Anna Hatton

      Senior Lecturer
      School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences