ACNS Newsletter – May 2022

Welcome to the May 2022 ACNS newsletter. This month we’re talking APBS (abstracts are open!), meet one of our members, An Nguyen, and chat to Bella Bower, our Student Executive member. Plus so many jobs and opportunities!
You can find all previous newsletters in the newsletter archive.

Australasian Brain and Psychological Sciences meeting is on 11-14 July – and abstracts are now open!

We are pleased to announce that registrations and abstracts are now open for the Australasian Brain & Psychological Sciences (ABPS) Meeting, 2022!

This long-awaited conference is a combined meeting of the Australasian Society for Experimental Psychology (EPC), the Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society (ACNS) and the Australian Chapter of the Organisation for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM).

ABPS will be hosted by the University of Queensland in Brisbane, from 11-14 July, 2022.

The joining of the meetings of these thriving societies this year aims to facilitate collaborations across disciplines and approaches, and to create opportunities to exchange new knowledge on sensory, cognitive and motor processes and their neural bases in both health and disease.

Registration for this hybrid meeting is open here. Registrants can choose between in-person and online options.

Abstracts are now open and will close on 20 May, 2022. Submit your abstract here.

We look forward to seeing you in Brisbane in July!


Can you help us write our RAP?

The ACNS is looking to form a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) working group. RAPs enable groups such as ours to sustainably and strategically take meaningful action to advance reconciliation in Australia and the Torres Strait. If you would be interested in joining this working group, please email hannah.keage@unisa.edu.au.


Member Profile – An Nguyen

Please tell us who you are, your institution and your title
An Nguyen, Post-doctoral Research Associate at Curtin University

Have you been working on something really exciting recently? Can you tell us about it?

Recently, I have been focusing on translational work in the Clinical Audiology space with the Audiology Team at Fiona Stanley Hospital by applying my knowledge in cognitive neuroscience and experimental psychology. Our goal is to develop a method that can be used to optimise the tuning of hearing implements such as Cochlear Implants. We are hoping to use behavioural and psychophysiological measurements to complement existing clinical measures. Exploring the relationship between experimental and clinical measures has been very interesting and working on tool designed to be used at the individual level has been an ear-opening experience, pardon the pun!

How did you get involved with cognitive neuroscience? What is it that you love about our field?

My journey in cognitive neuroscience began in undergrad during a laboratory class on EEG. There was something mesmerising about donning a cap and seeing a livestream of my own waveforms for the first time. Witnessing the symphony of activity opened my eyes to the amount of processing our brains’ do from moment-to-moment. What I love about our field is how it lies at the intersection between science, technology and the human experience. I love how each conversation brings new insights and excitement, and also the satisfaction of creating a new experiment and seeing the results.


Executive Member Profile – Isabella Bower

Please tell us who you are, your institution, your title and your role in ACNS
Isabella Bower, PhD Candidate, Deakin University; ACNS Committee Student Representative

Tell us a little about your role in the Society, and any recent updates on activities
My role in the Society is to represent and advocate for our most important members, our up-and-coming student researchers who will shape the future of the field. With the challenges our sector is facing, it has never been more important to ensure we do all we can to support and keep these members front-of-mind when planning and making decisions. This year we are running a mixture of online events and planning a special networking event for the ABPS Conference for all student and early-career attendees!

Have you been working on something really exciting recently? Can you tell us about it?
My research examines whether the design characteristics (such as colour and scale) of interior built environments modulate neural networks involved in emotion regulation. We used a highly inter-disciplinary approach combining EEG, virtual reality, and indoor environmental quality monitoring. Excitingly, we were able to detect changes in neural networks and autonomic response. Unravelling how built environment design might affect neurocognitive processes could allow us to optimise the spaces we inhabit to support the mental health and wellbeing of the public (for both healthy and clinical populations) non-invasively.

What are your career ambitions? In an ideal world, where would you like to be in 5-yrs?
To see the field of environmental psychology, specifically the impact our human-made environment has on our cognitive, perceptual, and emotional processes, recognised as a fundamental area of research in Australia. I aim to pursue this research beyond a PhD, where I can both keep building an evidence base for the importance of well-designed environments and ideally, translate the implications into state-level policy to transform practice (guidelines used by practitioners for building design) and have a positive impact on public health (through spending our time within well-designed buildings).

If people want to contact you, how should they do so? Do you have any social media profiles people can follow?
Email: boweri@deakin.edu.au
Twitter handle: @bella_s_bower


Cool stuff we found on the interwebs

Let’s get technical
Our ECR webinar, Lets Get Technical, was a huge success! We live tweeted the take home messages in this thread.

NeuroDesk
Have you been keeping up to date with all the great progress happening over at NeuroDesk? Neurodesk provides a containerised data analysis environment to facilitate reproducible analysis of neuroimaging data. Neurodesk provides a platform in which anyone, anywhere, using any computer can reproduce your original research findings given the original data and analysis code.

New study on Aussie researchers’ opinions on handling career disruptions
How do you handle career disruption statements? Do you eschew them, even if you have something to write? Or do you labour over how much detail to state? This new paper surveyed 124 researchers to find out how we’re handling career disruption statements.

Imaging Transcriptomics Toolbox
The Imaging Transcriptomics toolbox is a new package that implements a full imaging transcriptomics pipeline using a user-friendly, command line interface. This toolbox allows the user to identify patterns of gene expression which correlates with a specific neuroimaging phenotype and perform gene set enrichment analyses to inform the biological interpretation of the findings using up-to-date methods.

Check out the paper 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!


Indigenous Imaging Fellow
This position has been established to identify specific research priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and to improve access to the biomedical research facilities for these purposes. The role will facilitate an Indigenous perspective and promote a culturally safe environment, and by assisting in supervising Indigenous undergraduate interns, the Fellow will help support a welcoming, culturally safe, and supportive space.
Details here.

Multiple positions at UNSW
Lecturer/Senior Lecturers in Psychology (up to 2 roles) – Computational Cognitive Science
For these roles the School is particularly interested in applicants who will enhance our research strength in computational cognitive science.  The applicant should be familiar with behavioural approaches as well demonstrating high levels of expertise in one or more computational modelling approaches (e.g., Bayesian models, reaction-time modelling, neural networks, reinforcement learning) applied to any area of cognitive science.
Details here.

Lecturer/Senior Lecturers in Psychology (up to 4 roles)
These positions are designed to augment and complement the School’s existing strengths in cognitive, clinical, forensic, social, health and developmental psychology, perception and behavioural and cognitive neuroscience.
Details here.

Research Assistant
An exciting opportunity is available to join a vibrant team of researchers as a Research Assistant within the Neuroregeneration theme at The Florey. Reporting to Michele Binder, the successful candidate will support research groups investigating the process of tissue recovery related to multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases.

See here for details.
fMRI Research Assistant/Lab Manager Position Available
A full-time research assistant position is available in Russell Epstein’s laboratory in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania

See here for details.

Postdoctoral Research Associate – Radiology
The laboratory of Dr. Brian Gordon (https://sites.wustl.edu/gordonlab/) is recruiting a postdoctoral fellow to join the Neuroimaging Laboratories (NIL) at Washington University in St. Louis (https://sites.wustl.edu/nillabs/). The fellow will join NIH-funded projects to understand longitudinal brain-behavior associations in individuals with both sporadic and autosomal dominant Alzheimer disease (AD).

See here for details.

Do you want to work at 10.5T??
The University of Minnesota’s Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (http://www.cmrr.umn.edu/) has an opening for a Researcher to assist in developing methods for MRI imaging for both brain and body (prostate, breast, etc.) applications on Siemens 3T and 7T and 10.5T platforms.

See here for details.

Salk Fellows
The Salk Fellows Program is a path for exceptionally talented early-stage career scientists to embark on fully independent research programs as an alternative to traditional postdoctoral studies. We seek bold leaders who are passionate in exploring new frontiers in science and pursuing innovative solutions to fundamental questions in biology. Candidates or recent PhD or MD graduates, ideally no more than one year from graduation with two at the most, with demonstrated excellence in research and leadership ability are appointed as Principal Investigators for an initial term of three years with the possibility for an extension of one to two additional years for a maximum of five years.

See here for details.


Neuromatch Academy 2022

The two courses (Computational Neuroscience and Deep Learning) will happen in parallel for 3 weeks:
from July 11th to July 29th

Students and TAs can apply from a dedicated portal: http://portal.neuromatch.io
Instant-applications are open on a rolling basis until May 6th

See here for details.

Monash Biomedical Imaging Webinars
Prof George Paxinos
Brain and Mind: Who is the Puppet and who the Puppeteer?

In this webinar, Professor George Paxinos will discuss his highly respected work on the construction of human and experimental animal brain atlases. He has discovered 94 brain regions, 64 homologies and published 58 books. His frst book, The Rat Brain in Stereotaxic Coordinates, is the most cited publication in neuroscience and, for three decades, the third most cited book in science.

Professor Paxinos will also present his recently published novel, A River Divided, which was 21 years in the making. Neuroscience principles were used in the formation of chapters, such as those related to the mind, soul, free will and consciousness. Environmental issues are at the heart of the novel, including the question of whether the brain is the right ‘size’ for survival.

12.30-1.15pm
Wednesday, 11 May 2022
View abstract and bio
REGISTER here

ACCS 2022 Brain Imaging Workshop Series – Machine Learning Workshop
Date: 19 May 2022
Time: 1.00 – 3.00pm
The Australian Characterisation Commons at Scale (ACCS) Project has launched a new 2022 Brain Imaging Workshop Series. For its second Workshop Series, ACCS will be joined by a number of experts in Machine Learning for Neuroimaging, sharing their knowledge and expertise with us. For more information and to register visit ImagingTools.

Bionics Institute 2022 Graeme Clark Oration
Date: Tuesday 12 July 2022
Time: 6.00 – 7.30pm
Speaker: Dr Natalia Trayanova, the Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in the United States
Venue: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Dr Trayanova has become a pioneer in developing the field of biomedicine known as computational cardiology.  Blending imaging, computational modelling, cardiovascular informatics and vascular biology, Dr Trayanova is the primary innovator and trailblazer in the use of modern computation and modelling approaches in cardiac arrhythmia research and in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with heart rhythm disorders.

This Oration promises to deliver another inspiring example of advances in the biomedical sciences that is shaping the future of healthcare.  Register here.

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

See here for more information

Art of Neuroscience Competition
The 12th Art of Neuroscience competition is now open for submissions by 15 May 2022. The award will be €1000 to the winner and €250 each to four honourable mentions for striking artworks related to the field of Neuroscience in its broadest sense.
The competition is open to scientists and artists worldwide. Submissions can be images or videos representing actual neural data or tissue, abstract visualisations, sculptures, even musical scores related in some way to concepts about nervous tissue, the brain or cognition.
Details here.

Diversity Council Australia Webinars
Workplace inclusion for people who are childless not by choice
Many organisations are doing a lot to make their workplaces more inclusive for people with children. But how can workplaces be more inclusive of people who are childless not by choice (CNBC)?
See here for 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!