Welcome to the ACNS October newsletter. We announce the recipients of the 2023 ACNS Awards! And lots of information about the conference. You can find all previous newsletters in the newsletter archive.

We’re so excited to announce the winners of the 2023 ACNS Awards! Hearty congratulations to all of our successful nominees! We look forward to celebrating with you in Sydney!

Emerging Researcher Award – Fernanda Ribeiro

Fernanda is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, with an interdisciplinary background in biophysics, neuroscience and computer science. Her research interests encompass three main areas: visual neuroscience, deep learning, and the development of explainable and fair AI for medical imaging. Fernanda’s ultimate goal is to bridge the gap between biological and computer vision to create more robust and impactful AI models for society. Her work has been published in 5 peer-reviewed articles and 3 full conference proceedings, including her most recent work “Variability of visual field maps in human early extrastriate cortex challenges the canonical model of organisation of V2 and V3”, in press in eLife.
Congratulations Fernanda!

Emerging Researcher Award – Isabella Bower

Isabella is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of South Australia, and an emerging leader in environmental cognitive neuroscience. Her research explores whether we can improve brain function and mental health through built environment design. Isabella notes that we currently build our environment with an evidence base that only considers the physical needs of the occupants, and it is her goal to raise awareness and build an evidence base that considers the intended psychological health and performance needs in mind. This award recognises Isabella’s early career contributions to cognitive neuroscience, including 5 peer reviewed publications, and her most recent work “Functional brain connectivity during exposure to the scale and color of interior built environments” published in Human Brain Mapping.
Congratulations Isabella!

Young Investigator Award – Sharna Jamadar

Sharna is Associate Professor (Research) and NHMRC Emerging Leader Fellow at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health and Monash Biomedical Imaging at Monash University. Her research program examines how our life experiences change our brains, with two core research streams. First, the development of novel simultaneous PET/MR methods for studying brain connectivity and cognitive reserve; and second, proposing and exploring the novel hypothesis that parenthood contributes to a person’s cognitive reserve. This award recognises Sharna’s scientific contributions (including over 65 peer-reviewed publications); and her long-standing service to the discipline including ACNS, ARC, NHMRC and numerous Australasian and international bodies.
Congratulations Sharna!

Registration is now open for ACNS 2023 in Sydney!

The 2023 Annual Meeting of the Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society (ACNS), is taking place in Sydney, from November 27th to November 30th, 2023, at the University of Sydney’s Abercrombie Business School.

Early bird registration will close 29 October 2023.

Register for the 2023 ACNS Conference


The conference will be an in-person event with a hybrid option available for those who need it. As in previous years, the ACNS conference will bring together leading researchers and practitioners in cognitive neuroscience to share their latest research findings and insights. The conference will cover a range of topics, including cognitive and computational neuroscience, cognitive psychology, neuroscience of perception, and more. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with peers, engage in interactive discussions, and attend keynote speeches by renowned experts.

This year’s keynote speakers are Prof Mary Peterson and Prof Lynn Nadel 










The conference website is live, and has lots of information including poster preparation guidelinespreliminary program, information about workshops and symposia, and accessibility guidelines.

ACNS 2023 Sydney conference website

We thank the following sponsors for their support:


Member Profile – Rebecca Healey

Please tell us who you are, your institution and your title
Rebecca Healey, PhD Student, University of Tasmania

Tell us a little about yourself, and your research interests
I am a PhD student in the Sensorimotor Neuroscience and Aging Research Laboratory (SNARL) at the University of Tasmania. My primary research interest is in the field of inhibitory control. I use functional near-infrared spectroscopy to measure changes in cortical activity when people stop movements of the upper and lower limbs. In addition, I examine how different kinds of inhibitory processes are affected by senescence.

How did you get involved with cognitive neuroscience? What is it that you love about our field?
I got involved with cognitive neuroscience completely by accident. I completed my undergraduate degree in psychology, but soon realised that I would rather eat radium than listen to people talk about their problems. However, I loved the neuroscience units I had studied during my degree, and I began working as a marker and tutor for undergraduate psychology and cognitive neuroscience classes in 2020. This led to Centrelink deciding I was a full-time employee of the University of Tasmania and cutting of my income support during a global pandemic. As such, I began my PhD with an air of anticipation (here imagine a little gremlin jumping up and down going, “Doctorate! Neuroimaging! Fun!”) and desperation (here imagine the same gremlin but it’s having a mental breakdown and going, “I desire not to move back in with my mother! Alas, soon my earthly body shall consume itself from famine! O woe, I await the sweet nectar of scholarship payments.”)
I love working in cognitive neuroscience because every day I go to work with people who are motivated to push the frontiers of our knowledge in this field, and who are genuinely happy to come to work in the morning.

What are your interests outside of neuroscience?
I love cooking and I have an extensive collection of spices and recipe books. From a historical and cultural perspective, I find cooking fascinating. The food we eat is like a capsule of time, and the recipes we make have changed drastically in the last thousand years as availability of different ingredients and spices has changed; and different cooking styles have gone in and out of fashion. Ingredients that were once rare and more valuable than gold have become common, like cinnamon and nutmeg. Others, like silphium, were used extensively but are now extinct.

If you are happy for people to contact you, how should they do so?
My email address is rhealey0@utas.edu.au. Note that I finish my PhD early next year and am actively looking for a postdoc. If you hire me I’ll make you a cake.

Exec Member Profile – Denise Moerel

Please tell us who you are, your institution, your title and your role in ACNS

Denise Moerel, post-doctoral researcher at the School of Psychology, the University of Sydney and general member of the ACNS ECR subcommittee

Tell us a little about your role in the Society, and any recent updates on activities
I joined the ECR subcommittee as a general member in 2021. Our most recent event was a webinar about publishing in academia. We hosted three speakers who talked us through the process of academic publishing and shared opportunities, tips, and tricks to help early career researchers navigate publishing in the current system. In case you’ve missed it, you can find the recording on YouTube here. We are currently preparing a workshop for the ACNS conference this year. There will be speakers from different academic and non-academic backgrounds and the audience will have the opportunity to ask all of their (anonymous) questions about academia, research, etc. Sign-up will be free of charge, so don’t miss it!

Have you been working on something really exciting recently? Can you tell us about it?
Yes, certainly! I have been exploring how food is represented in our brains. We often rely on visual information to make our daily food-related decisions. However, ‘food’ has so far been largely ignored by the visual object perception literature. Recently, two studies showed that the edibility of an object is an important distinction made in the ventral visual cortex. This is exciting, because we are now beginning to unravel how the brain processes visual information about food. My lab has recently found that edibility, food naturalness, and perceived caloric content are all represented in our brains. Interestingly, this information is there even when the stimuli are not task relevant. If you want to find out more about this topic, you can find our pre-print on bioRxiv (https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.06.06.543985) or stop by my poster at the ACNS conference.

If people want to contact you, how should they do so? Do you have any social media profiles people can follow?
My email address is denise.moerel@sydney.edu.au

Did you miss the ACNS ECR Webinar last month? 
2023 ACNS ECR Webinar – Publishing in Academia: reading between the linesDescription: As an early-career researcher, the process of getting your work published can often seem challenging and mysterious. For better-or-worse, publishing in reputable journals can significantly influence the impact of your research and ultimately your academic career success. This webinar took at look at the multifaceted look at the process of academic publishing, including some opportunities, tips, and tricks that can help you to put your best foot forward within the current systems.

Join Professor Simine Vazire (Professor of Psychology Ethics and Wellbeing at the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences), Adjunct Professor Ginny Barbour (Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Journal of Australia, Director of Open Access Australasia, Adjunct Professor at Queensland University of Technology), and Dr Will Harrison (UQ Amplify Lecturer and Research Fellow at the School of Psychology, UQ. Editor of i-Perception) for some publishing ‘between the lines’ insight.

See the recording here!


The brain can be modeled as a complex network, composed of nodes (representing brain regions) linked by edges (representing anatomical and functional connections), known as the connectome.

BRAPH 2 provides pipelines to investigate the connectome. It analyzes unilayer graphs with classical graph theory analysis. It also analyzes multilayer graphs with the state-of-the-art multilayer graph analysis. Furthermore, it provides deep learning analysis.
See here for details

Neuroscience for machine learners

This is a freely available online course on neuroscience for people with a machine learning background. The aim is to bring together these two fields that have a shared goal in understanding intelligent processes. Rather than pushing for “neuroscience-inspired” ideas in machine learning, the idea is to broaden the conceptions of both fields to incorporate elements of the other in the hope that this will lead to new, creative thinking.
The first two lectures are now available, and each week a new video and set of exercises will be posted. See here for details
They’re also building a new resource for neurodivergent scientists with your input. Check it out 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!


Chair in Human Neuroscience in Sydney Australia
We are looking for a Chair in Human Neuroscience to join the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development and the School of Medicine, Western Sydney University. Charter Hall are collaborating with Western Sydney University to bring transformational change to the health and wellbeing of the people of Western Sydney. Drawing on the combined strengths of the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development and the School of Medicine and the multidisciplinary approach they provide, Charter Hall have provided investment to support this leadership position – Charter Hall Chair in Human Neuroscience, based at Western Sydney University.
See details here.
Applications Close: 22 October
Associate Professor in Computer Science, University of Queensland

The School of Information Technology & Electrical Engineering seeks to appoint an established research leader in Computer Science who shows strong accomplishment in database management systems and data management technology, or related areas. See here for details.

Multiple fixed-term positions available at the University of Adelaide
The four available positions will be a mix of teaching and research focused and education specialist roles. The research area can be in any area of psychological science (which may include but is not restricted to cognitive psychology, developmental/child psychology, clinical psychology, health psychology, organisational psychology).
See here for details.
Tenure-track position in Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences, MIT
The Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences (BCS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), located on the main MIT campus in Cambridge, MA, seeks to hire a tenure-track faculty at the assistant professor level or higher.
More details here.
Multiple academic & professional roles at UniMelb
Tenure-track position at Department of Human Physiology at the University of Oregon

The Department of Human Physiology at the University of Oregon invites applications for a tenure track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor to begin fall 2024.

The goal of this position is to enhance department expertise related to biomechanics. The ideal candidate will address complex problems related to performance, injury prevention, and rehabilitation, using innovative and applied solutions in human subjects that will provide generalizable benefits to people across ages, abilities, and health.

More details here.

Stanford has SEVEN open faculty positions in the neurosciences

These include computer interface (BCI), molecular and cellular neurobiology, pathology, and neuropathology. 

See here for details.

Neuropsychopharmacology seeking submissions from Early Career Commentaries

This article type offers opportunities for trainees and early-stage investigators (within 10 years of terminal research degree or residency and have not had R01 or equivalent) to share their scientific ideas and perspectives.

Topics can include journal-club style commentaries, research perspectives and opinions, comments on current issues, dueling opinions, or another focus.
See here for more information

Did you know that there are TWO other conferences being held in Sydney around the time of ACNS? Our friends over at the Australasian Brain Stimulation Society (ABSS) and OHBM-Australia chapter are holding their annual meetings directly before & after ACNS. See below for rego details for both events!


Australasian Brain Stimulation Society (ABSS) conference

The Australasian Brain Stimulation Society is proud to invite you to the 2023 ABSS conference, to be held in-person at Mathews Theatre B, University of New South Wales, Kensington Campus from the 26-27 November 2023.

ABSS2023 will bring together researchers from a range of diverse backgrounds in the field of brain stimulation to share and discuss their latest research across the 2-day conference. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear the latest advances in brain stimulation research and network with investigators from across Australasia. The conference will feature keynote presentations, as well as oral and poster sessions.

Register here.


OHBM-Australia ChapterThe Organization for Human Brain Mapping Australian Chapter (OHBM-Oz) is now accepting abstract submissions for the 2023 Annual Meeting in Sydney. The one-day meeting will be held on 1st December 2023.

Submissions can be entered here until Friday, November 03, when the site closes at 11:59 PM AEST.

Abstract Guidelines can be found here
Conference Registration: There is no fee to attend the conference. Please note that registration is mandatory for abstract submission and attendance. More details here.
Conference Dinner is optional with a $100 fee.

Submission Site: Click here for the submission site.

Please note that due to limited space, not all submissions will be accepted. If you have any technical questions, please contact Warda Syeda at ohbm.aus@gmail.com


Maths in the Brain Workshop 2023

Innovations in the application of mathematical methods in neuroscience
After a successful launch in 2019, this year Maths in the Brain will expand and bring together researchers across Australia with a shared interest in understanding the brain from a quantitative perspective. Leading experts will meet in person to present their latest work on mathematical modelling of brain structure and function to understand how disease affects the brain and how coordinated brain activity gives rise to perception and cognition.

The event is sponsored by the Brain Mapping and Modelling Research Program of the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health. Early career researchers will have an opportunity to present their work.

Date: 23 October 2023
Location: This is an in-person meeting located at:
Monash College, 750 Collins St, Docklands, VIC 3008

Register for free
Students of Brain Research (SOBR) 2023 Student Symposium
The 13th Annual SOBR Symposium will have keynote speakers and student presentations from all different areas of brain research. This year it will be held both virtually and in-person on Friday, November 24th, at the University of Melbourne Science Gallery.
Date Friday 24 November 2023 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (UTC+11)
Location Science Gallery Melbourne Melbourne Connect, 14 Grattan St, Parkville VIC 3052
More details here.
ISMRM-ANZ On behalf of the chapter executive, we would like to invite you to register for the annual chapter scientific meeting at the University of Queensland.

Meeting date: 30 November – 1 December, 2023 at Advanced Engineering Building (Building 49), Staff House Road, University of Queensland (St Lucia Campus), Brisbane, Australia

Abstract submission deadline: Monday 16th October (Abstracts can be submitted by using the template available at https://docs.google.com/document/d/16jR-w9Vl_i28RKmfqMwlbNEvdl1oaIcj/edit ).

Program details: We will have keynote speakers, oral presentations, posters, and social events during the conference.

It is very exciting to be able to meet in person once again and we would dearly love to see as many of you as possible in Brisbane for what promises to be a highly engaging event.
More details here.


Future Forums: The new science of consciousness

Historically, the exploration of consciousness was predominantly viewed through spiritual or philosophical lenses, but new scientific research is beginning to draw out compelling biological theories and explanations for consciousness and selfhood.

In this forum, presented by Museums Victoria and the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, hear from acclaimed international speaker and neuroscientist Anil Seth on the biological basis of conscious experience and what it means for the future of humanity.

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!