Welcome to the June 2023 ACNS newsletter. This month we have important information about the 2023 ACNS conference, we meet Harisu Abdullahi Shehu, and chat to our exec member, Amy Claire Thompson. Plus lots of jobs and opportunities!
You can find all previous newsletters in the newsletter archive.

Call for Abstracts

We are happy to announce the call for abstracts for the 2023 Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society (ACNS) meeting.

Where: In-person event held at the Abercrombie Building at The University of Sydney, with a hybrid option available

When: 27-30 November 2023.

ACNS encourages submission of abstracts describing new research in cognitive neuroscience, defined broadly as the study of the relationship between the brain, mind and behaviour.


  • Must be under 200 words
  • Written in English and will be evaluated on the basis of scientific merit by peer review
  • Abstracts should report original work that will not be published elsewhere prior to the meeting, although presentation at a recent meeting (e.g., within a year) of another society is acceptable
  • All types of research: new research and preliminary findings, protocols and registered reports, theoretical reports, systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Abstracts accepted for presentation will be published in the conference proceedings, which will be published on the ACNS website. The Scientific Committee reserves the right to make editorial corrections to submitted abstracts.

Abstracts are due by midnight on 16 July 2023 AET. You can submit your abstract via the abstract submission portal. This year we have a new system of Abstract Submission. When you submit an abstract, you will receive an email that confirms that we have received the abstract (check spam folders and please let us know if you have not received this email). You will be notified of the success of your abstract and if it has been allocated as an oral or a poster presentation by 28th August. If you have any questions about abstract submissions, email acns2023sydney@gmail.com

Workshops and symposia: The call for workshops and symposia remains open (deadline June 30th). Instructions and guidelines for workshops can be found here, and symposia guidelines can be found here.

Satellite hubs: We are piloting a satellite hub initiative. More information about satellite hubs can be found in the May ACNS newsletter. If you are interested in proposing or establishing a hub, please contact Anina Rich at anina.rich@mq.edu.au or Muireann Irish at muireann.irish@sydney.edu.au from the local organising committee.

We look forward to receiving your abstracts and seeing you in Sydney in November!

Tom Carlson (Convenor of ACNS2023)
On behalf of the local organising committee: Muireann Irish, Tijl Grootswagers, Anina Rich, and Reuben Rideaux.


Member Profile – Harisu Abdullahi Shehu

Please tell us who you are, your institution and your title
Harisu Abdullahi Shehu, PhD Researcher, Victoria University of Wellington

Tell us a little about yourself, and your research interests
I submitted my PhD thesis for examination in January. During the PhD, I did an interdisciplinary research (Computer Science and Psychology) on emotion detection and its effect on decision-making.

I am interested in researching emotion from patterns of facial movements and physiological changes such as skin conductance, heart rate, respiration, and brain activity captured using EEG. My goal is to explore ways of understanding humans emotion that can be utilised by artificial intelligent systems, like robots, so they can make better and more-relevant decisions in shared workspaces.

What’s your most recent paper about? Where can we find it published?
My recent paper investigates the relationship between autonomic nervous system (i.e. heart rate and skin conductance) with EEG and peripheral measures during emotional video watching.

In the paper, we show that predicting continuous autonomic responses such as heart rate and galvanic skin responses requires an approach that is capable of learning dependence or sequential feature selection in order to improve the performance of prediction. Unlike summative analysis, and contrary to expectations, we found a significantly lower error rate when the prediction was made across different participants than within a participant. In addition, despite some similarities, we found that the neurophysiological patterns and the peripheral measures that play a role in predicting these two types of autonomic responses are largely distinct. The findings contributes to the understanding of different autonomic measures being driven by specific and non-specific neurophysiological associations.

The paper was recently published by the Psychophysiology journal and can be accessed here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/psyp.14303

Are you interested in setting up some new collaborations? What would you like to collaborate on, and how can people contact you if they’re interested?
Yes, I’d like to collaborate on research investigating emotion or physiological changes in the context of emotion, especially those that involve the use of EEG.

What are your interests outside of neuroscience? 
Outside of neuroscience, I am interested in investigating artificial intelligent methods for identity, emotion, texts, and medical images recognition. I am also interested in investigating how emotions can affect decision-making for artificial systems, especially suited to dynamic/uncertain domains that elicit emotions in humans.

If people want to contact you, how should they do so? Do you have any social media profiles people can follow?
My twitter handle is @harisushehu (https://twitter.com/harisushehu) and my email address is harisushehu @ ecs.vuw.ac.nz

Exec Member Profile – Amy Claire Thompson
Please tell us who you are, your institution, your title and your role in ACNS

Amy Claire Thompson, PhD Candidate, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, the University of Melbourne; Student Representative

Tell us a little about your role in the Society, and any recent updates on activities
This year, I’m student rep, which means I sit on the ACNS exec as well as the ECR subcommittee. We’ve recently held our first ECR event of the year – a webinar aiming to help students and ECRs understand the Australian research environment and how to get more involved. We think it was one of our most successful events ever and we’re really proud of how excited and engaged our members were. If you missed it, you can now watch it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7hy6Ry4sYs

What’s your most recent paper about? Where can we find it published?
The first paper of my PhD was published in January! You can find it in Headache: the Journal of Head and Face Pain, here. It’s an investigation of the relationship between sensory hypersensitivity and a condition called Visual Snow Syndrome – we did not find what we expected at all, but the outcomes have shaped the rest of my PhD so I’m very excited to have it out in the world.

How did you get involved with cognitive neuroscience? What is it that you love about our field?
Completely by accident! After a short-lived career in digital marketing and communications, I went back to uni in 2018 to pursue a Graduate Diploma in Psychology. I thought I wanted to be a clinical psych until I worked on a psychophysics project for my final semester Capstone project and fell in love with research (if not with psychometric functions, alas). The rest, as they say, is history.

If you are happy for people to contact you, please complete the following:
Sure – for now, I’m still clinging on to Twitter until there’s consensus about where we’re all hanging out next. @amyct_

DREAM: A Dream EEG and Mentation database
Freely available world largest database for dream reports + EEG from William Wong, Naotsugu Tsuchiya et al

See here for more information.

Brain Visualisation Tools
3 tools to help move toward code-based & replicable visualization: 1) practical guide (why should I?), 2) package selector (which one?), 3) code template generator (how do I start?)

See Twitter thread here and preprint here

Demystify job titles by @academic_exit
Exploring jobs outside of academia as a PhD, and have no idea what the job titles mean? Check out this thread.

Dr Russ Poldrack – “Everything you wanted to know about running a lab but were afraid to ask”
Talk available here
Slides available here

Know of a cool package or online resource that you love? Or maybe you’ve written your own! Send it to acns@acns.org.au, and we can feature it in our next newsletter. Let us know why you like it!


Sydney Horizon Fellowships – 40 continuing positions at University of Sydney, Sydney 
Available to emerging academics of all disciplines to undertake research that will help: – build resilience to climate change, – improve health outcomes, and – create a more sustainable world.

Applications close 5 July. See here for more information

Casual teaching and supervision, University of Technology, Sydney
UTS Psychology is currently recruiting casual staff to play a key role in supporting the success of our new Online Graduate Diploma and Graduate Diploma (Advanced) degrees.

See here for more information

Postdoctoral research fellows, Rutgers University, USA
Are you interested in: Neuroimaging, network neuroscience, multi-omic analysis in large datasets, machine learning, psychiatry research. If so, get in touch with Linden Parkes at the Systems Neuroscience & Psychopathology lab (https://parkeslab.com) based at the Rutgers Brain Health Institute

Assistant Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
The Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences of the University of Groningen invites applicants for an Assistant Professor position in the unit of Experimental Psychology.

See here for more information

Lab manager and postdoc, Northeastern University, USA
The Neuroscience Precision Research & Idiographic Statistical Methods (Neuro-PRISM) Lab focuses on unraveling fundamental principles of brain measurement and developing statistical and machine learning models for individual-level insight.

See here for more information

Postdoc and Research Technician, Yale University, USA
Do you want to build and apply computational models of learning, decision making, or emotions? Rutledege Lab are looking for you!

See here for more information

Brain Health Initiative – Project Manager, Melbourne
An exciting opportunity exists for a Project Manager to undertake the coordination and operational oversight of the Brain Health Initiative longitudinal research program, with scope to apply their skills across other AFL, AFLW, State, pathways and community football concussion research programs.

Applications close June 6.
See here for more information

Postdoctoral research, lab manager/ research assistant, University of California, USA
Postdoc: To work on-site at UC Irvine in the Department of Cognitive Sciences on a neuroimaging, psychophysics, modeling, and machine learning project to arbitrate among competing higher order theories of consciousness.
Lab manager: To assist with ongoing research projects in the lab covering neuroimaging, psychophysics, and modeling projects. This person would assist with data collection and analysis as well as performing some administrative duties, and have the opportunity to have their own projects as well.

See here for more information

You might have heard about the huge triceratops exhibition at the Melbourne Museum last year. But this year, the Museum will be hosting another event that’s just as glamorous and exciting: the SOBR 2023 Networking Dinner!

Students of Brain Research (SOBR) is an academic and social network that facilitates knowledge and skill development between students across Australia with an interest in brain research. 

The SOBR 2023 Networking Dinner!
This year’s theme: Brains Through Lifetimes
Friday, 25th of August
The Science and Life Gallery @ The Melbourne Museum

You’ll be hearing more about this from us in the near future – you can follow our socials for more updates 

You can add this event to your Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar.  

For more information: TwitterInstagramand Facebook – just search for ‘SOBR’


Upcoming SPR Webinar
 Frequency-domain analyses of EEG and MEG data: From mathematical foundations to implementation and publication.
 Monday, June 26 – 11am – 4pm Eastern Time
Tuesday, June 27 – 6pm – 11pm Eastern Time
Please note that the webinar content will be the same presentation both Monday and Tuesday. Please join us on the date and time zone that works best for you!

See here for more details

Got something to tell your fellow ACNS members? An event, a job, or new opportunity you’d like to share? Email acns@acns.org.au before the end of the month, and we’ll add it to the Newsletter!