ACNS Newsletter – October 2021

 

A jam-packed newsletter this month, with details of the 2021 ACNS meeting, and reminders to nominate for honorific awards and Executive positions inside! This month we meet Jacob Paul, the chair of the ACNS Website Working Group, and Lauren Hennessy from the University of Western Australia. Lots of jobs and events too!
You can find all previous newsletters in the newsletter archive.

Get ready for the ACNS Virtual Meeting in November!

Planning is well underway for the ACNS Virtual Meeting, 18-19 November. The program will feature keynote addresses from our ACNS award winners, oral presentations, and a poster exhibition.  We will showcase ECR and PhD work in the oral presentation and poster sessions.

Presentations will be live, and there will be an online networking event on the Monday evening.  Student and ECR oral and poster awards will be presented at the end of the conference. The 2021 AGM will be scheduled for the 19th November.

Registration

There is still time to register! Registration will be open until 17 November 2021, however, all presenters must be registered by 5 November.

We understand the multiple pressures on students and staff within the university system.  This year, we have two registration options:
(1) $100 for those who have the ability to pay (this includes supervisors having the ability to pay for students), or for non-ACNS members, and
(2) free for ACNS members (student or full) who do not have the ability to pay.

Abstract submission

Abstract submission has closed.  Speaker and poster allocations have been communicated to presenters. Please contact Hannah if there are any questions.

Contact

For further details, you can check our website or contact Hannah Keage


Nominations are now open for the 2021 ACNS Awards.

 

ACNS Lifetime Contribution Award

The ACNS Lifetime Contribution Award aims to honour senior distinguished cognitive neuroscientists who have made extraordinary lifetime contributions to the advancement of Australasian cognitive neuroscience nationally and internationally.

Individuals nominated for this award are expected to have a distinguished research profile and a record of sustained commitment to service in promoting Australasian cognitive neuroscience.

Recipients of this award will receive:
1. Receive lifetime ACNS membership;
2. Be given free conference registration for the year of award; and
3. Be presented the award in a brief presentation at the ACNS Conference Dinner.
Note that in 2021, recipients will be invited to a virtual ACNS ceremony for presentation of the award, with the in-person ceremony taking place in 2022.

Full details available here.

 

ACNS Young Investigator Award

This award aims to recognise an outstanding cognitive neuroscientist in Australasia, who is no more than 10 years from the receipt of their doctoral degree (not including career disruptions) who is making internationally recognised contributions to their field.

Recipients of the award will receive an invitation to present Keynote Lecture at a virtual 2021 ACNS ceremony; an invitation to the 2022 ACNS conference, including flights, accommodation, conference registration and dinner costs; in addition to a $1000 prize.

Full details here.

 

ACNS Emerging Researcher Award

The awards aim to recognise two outstanding researchers working in the field of cognitive neuroscience in Australasia at the very early stages of their careers. The award is open to researchers no more than 2 years from the receipt of their doctoral degree.

The recipients of this award will receive an invitation to present a talk at a virtual 2021 ACNS ceremony;  an invitation to the 2022 ACNS conference, including flights (within Australasia), accommodation, conference registration and dinner costs.

Full details here.

The submission deadline for all awards is 29 October 2021. There will be no extension of deadline.

Please email acns@acns.org.au if more information is required.


Want to be the sole survivor from the comfort of your own home? 

Celebrate the end of the first day of the 2021 ACNS conference with a bang and join us for cognitive neuroscience-themed games.

We will divide players (“locked-aways”) into tribes. Each tribe will then compete in challenges designed to test your cognitive abilities (memory, executive function, quick thinking, fine motor skills) and creative thinking. The game is much more than just luck, you have to know how to work with your team in order to win! Prizes will be awarded for the winning tribe, and all players will walk away with some new networks.

Thursday 18 November 5pm AEDT

See here to register


Reminder: 2022 ACNS Executive Committee member nominations.

Please consider nominating for the ACNS Executive Committee! Membership lasts one year, with the exception of the Treasurer, which is a two year appointment. The Committee meets once per month (usually via Zoom), ensures our Constitution is followed, and shapes the future directions and activities of the society. Prof Hannah Keage will be President, with Prof Thomas Carlson moving to past-President. This year, the following roles are open for election:

President-elect. This role will convert to President following the AGM in 2022.

Secretary. Is responsible for the general administration of the society including the organisation and record keeping of meetings, and communication with members via newsletters, email, the website, and Facebook.

Treasurer. Is responsible for the management of ACNS funds (bank accounts and PayPal), including payments, invoicing and reporting.

ECR representative. Is responsible for running the ACNS ECR Sub-Committee*, and for liaising with our ECR members in general and reporting back to the Executive Committee.

Student representative. Is responsible for liaising with our student members and reporting back to Executive Committee. The student member will also be a member of the ACNS ECR Sub-Committee*

General member. Will be called upon to organise ACNS events and activities, which may include the @ACNS_Official Twitter and Facebook accounts.

All nominations should be emailed to acns@acns.org.au with your name, a 2-3 sentence bio, a profile picture, the role you would like to nominate for, and 2-3 sentences describing your motivation for running for the ACNS Executive Committee. This information will be presented on the election ballot to help members decide their vote. Current and past committee members can re-nominate. You will receive a confirmation email (and if you don’t, please email again). Nominations must be received by Friday 29th October, 5pm AEDST. Voting will take place electronically from 1 November, and will close 18th November 5pm AEDST.

Our current committee members are listed here. You are welcome to contact individual committee members if you have specific questions about the different roles.

*Please note that the ACNS ECR Sub-Committee is coordinated separately to the Executive Committee. As such, candidates assuming the roles of ECR or Student Representative are expected to sit on two separate committees.

Call for 2022 ACNS ECR Sub-Committee member nominations

Please consider nominating for the ACNS ECR Sub-Committee! Membership lasts one year. The Committee meets once per month (usually via Zoom). This year, the following roles are open for election:

Secretary and Newsletter Manager:
The primary role of the Secretary is to schedule meetings, write and distribute the agenda for meetings, take and distribute meeting minutes, and to keep an accurate record of committee proceedings. The Secretary will also be responsible collating items for the ACNS newsletter. They will also be required to attend all ECR sub-committee meetings. This includes:

  • Organise committee meetings, generally once a month.
  • Establishing a meeting time using doodle poll. The poll should be available to members for the week following the previous meeting and close by the end of that week to ensure members have the date and time free in their calendars.
  • Create meeting agendas based on the previous meeting minutes and add additional items of relevance.
  • Call for additional meeting agenda items.
  • Distribute meeting minutes at least one day before the scheduled meeting.
  • Take detailed minutes of the scheduled meetings and record action items.
  • Distribute minutes within one day of the scheduled meeting (at the same time as setting up the doodle poll for the next meeting)
  • Newsletter management.
  • Collate 2-3 ECR specific items of interest to be included in the monthly ACNS newsletter.
  • Send items to ACNS Exec Secretary/newsletter manager.

Event Manager:
This role entails organising the ECR workshop for the ACNS conference as well as any other events during the year. They will also be required to attend all ECR sub-committee meetings. This includes:

  • Consulting with ECR committee about potential topics of the workshop and events.
  • Once a decision has been made about the topic of the conference workshop– work with the committee to discuss potential speakers.
  • Once a decision has been made about the topic/contents of any other events during the year to lead organisation of the event.
  • Liaising with local organising committee about program, AV, morning tea, timetable within conference and placing program on conference website.
  • Arranging speakers for the workshop: include details about what the ECR committee would like them to talk about, length of talk etc.
  • Organising chair (or two) to introduce and time keep during the workshop.
  • On the day: liaise with organising committee, chairs and speakers, make sure everything is running well, advertise the ECR committee for the following year.
  • Social events – organise a social event for one of the evenings of the conference.
  • Book venue, for any events, if possible find a sponsor – and manage funds specifically for the workshop or event.
  • Advertise both social events and workshop by liaising with ECR secretary (i.e. put ads in the newsletter).

Website & Social Media Manager:
The primary role of the Social Media Manager is to be responsible and accountable for the maintenance of social media (Facebook and Twitter) and to update the ECR section of the ACNS website. They will also be required to attend all ECR sub-committee meetings. This includes:

  • Updating and maintaining the ECR section of the ACNS website.
  • ECR description, vision, goals, resources, events, opportunities, links, etc.
  • Coordinating tasks that are relevant for maintaining the website.
  • Sharing ECR-relevant content on the ACNS ECR Facebook Page.
  • ACNS-related content.
  • Non-ACNS (general) content, such as articles on issues relevant to young researchers.
  • Maintaining any relevant Twitter activity.
  • Sharing relevant content.
  • Tweeting at conferences.

General Member:
The primary role of the General Members is to:

  • Provide support and expertise to the ECR sub-committee members.
  • Help with ECR workshop.
  • Develop and support ECR initiatives for the short and long term.
  • Aid in the hand-over of from past to future committee.
  • They will also be required to attend all ECR sub-committee meetings.

All nominations should be emailed to acns@acns.org.au with your name, a 2-3 sentence bio, a profile picture, the role you would like to nominate for and 2-3 sentences describing your motivation for running for the ACNS ECR Sub-Committee. This information will be presented on the election ballot to help members decide their vote. Current and past committee members can re-nominate. You will receive a confirmation email (and if you don’t, please email again). Nominations must be received by Friday 29th October, 5pm AEDST. Voting will take place electronically from 1 November, and will close 18th November 5pm AEDST.


ACNS x EPC x OHBM 2022 meeting

We will now hold the ABPS meeting at the original venue – the Pullman King, George Square – from 18-21 July 2022. We are firmly committed to having an outstanding in-person conference that we can all attend.

If you have any questions about the postponement, please contact Paul Dux at p.dux@psy.uq.edu.au.


In Memoriam:
Remembering Professor Lynn Robertson

Adjunct Professor Emerita Lynn Robertson, UC Berkeley, passed away unexpectedly on Monday 4th October 2021, after a weekend away with her family.

Lynn’s research, often using neuropsychological patients and special populations, advanced our understanding of the role of the parietal lobe in attention, binding, and the representation of space. Her work was ground-breaking and her career over the decades can be tracked in high impact (and highly cited) publications, including in Nature Reviews Neuroscience and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lynn’s impact can be seen by so much more than her excellent science – she was also an incredibly kind person and an encouraging inspiring mentor. All over the globe, she is being mourned by friends, colleagues, and those of us who were fortunate enough to consider her a mentor. At my first international conference as a junior PhD student, Lynn took the time to meet with me for lunch, to discuss my work and ideas, to give encouragement and advice. A few years later, she acted as an examiner for my PhD, and later again, was my referee for my first job (and for many things since then). I remember fondly her visit to us at Macquarie Uni after I had established my own lab, and our email exchanges over the years, the last only a few months ago when she was “fine except that I just turned 75. How did that happen?”.

Lynn’s ground-breaking research on binding, spatial mapping, and attention, including her famous work with patient RM (who had Balint’s syndrome after bilateral parietal damage), will continue to inform us for decades to come. Her generous encouragement will also continue to impact the way we run our own labs, support others around us, and train our students. What better legacy can one leave?

I will remember her with love and gratitude.

– Prof Anina Rich
Past ACNS President
Macquarie University


Member Profile

This month, we meet Lauren Hennessy from the University of Western Australia.

Please tell us who you are, your institution, and your title
Lauren Hennessy, PhD Student, University of Western Australia and The Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science

Tell us a little about yourself, and your research interests
I’m currently in the third year of my PhD, working on both preclinical and clinical research. I’m very interested in conducting research on treatments for psychiatric and neurological disorders: trying to develop improved methods and find out exactly how these treatments work on a mechanistic level. My current projects focus on the use of low-intensity repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), and how we can use it to improve upon the treatment of depression currently used in clinics.

Have you been working on something really exciting recently? Can you tell us about it?
I’m really excited to have recently started working on two new human trials. The first is a clinical trial being conducted in collaboration with Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, investigating the effectiveness of an add-on low-intensity rTMS treatment in patients with major depressive disorder. The second is a trial in a healthy population, aiming to determine the effects of low-intensity rTMS on cortical excitability, mood and cognition.

Can you tell us about an event you’re organising that you think our members would be interested in? 
I recently ran a virtual networking event (think: networking crossed with fun games) on behalf of the Australasian Neuroscience Society’s Student Body Committee, and we hope to run another one towards the end of the year that I encourage everyone else from ACNS to join us for! It’s a great opportunity to connect with more of our wonderful fellow neuroscientists.

If people want to contact you, how should they do so? Do you have any social media profiles people can follow? 
You can find me on twitter at @LaurenAHennessy

Do you enjoy reading the member profile each month? We’re always on the look out to feature members from a diverse background – geography, research focus, career stage, gender, age, cultural background. Sometimes we need help finding people though – contact acns@acns.org.au if you would like to be featured, or would like to nominate someone to be featured. 


Meet the Website Working Group

This month, we meet Jacob Paul, the chair of the ACNS Website Working Group.

Please tell us who you are, your institution, and your title, and your role in ACNS
Jacob Paul, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne; ACNS Website Working Group Chair

Have you been working on something really exciting recently? Can you tell us about it?
After completing my PhD at the University of Melbourne, I spent the last 3 years as a postdoctoral fellow at Utrecht University in the Netherlands on a project with A/Prof Ben Harvey using ultra-high resolution (7 Tesla) fMRI and population receptive field modelling computational models to investigate the neural basis of space, time and number processing in the brain. We found a hierarchy of topographically organised sensory timing maps throughout association cortices (doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.01.090). We also showed responses to numerosity are evident from V1 but can be better understood as a response to aggregate Fourier power aka spatial frequency representations (doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.28.437364). These findings suggest number and timing arise from intrinsic computations of primary neural circuits with known perceptual/behavioural correlates, making them ideal candidates for whole-system cognitive neuroscience research programs. There is more 7T fMRI work to come out from this project regarding early visual timing responses, auditory timing maps, the overlap between numerosity/timing maps, and visual short-term memory responses – overall an exciting avenue for high precision cognitive neuroscience at the individual person level.

Since returning to Melbourne I have started work with Prof Olivia Carter to design an online screening and assessment tool to measure visual disturbances in those with Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD: www.perception.foundation), and I am keen to continue my 7T research locally via the Melbourne Brain Centre. Below is a photo of me wearing a custom head coil setup for a 7T laminar fMRI project conducted at the Spinoza Center for Neuroimaging near Amsterdam.

Do you have any fond memories of previous ACNS meetings, workshops or events? Can you share a story?
My fondest memories of a previous conference come from the fantastic joint ACNS x ICON meeting in Brisbane 2014, where I was fortunate enough to witness Stan Dehaene deliver an engaging keynote address during the day and then proceed to tear up the dancefloor that evening – a work-life balance I can only dream to emulate someday.

My current role in the Society involves maintaining the ACNS website, which includes updating it with any news to share, managing Society membership access, and troubleshooting issues with account logins – as well as helping to oversee abstract submissions recently for the ACNS virtual conference in November. Working behind the curtain here makes me appreciate all the effort that goes into making large yearly meetings like ACNS conferences run so smoothly.

If people want to contact you, how should they do so? Do you have any social media profiles people can follow?
Feel free to get in contact with me via jacob.paul@unimelb.edu.au or you can follow me on Twitter @jacob_m_paul


Events & Notices

Are you a psychologist? Do you work with adult clients in a clinical setting? 
The CAIN group at UniSA are investigating how psychologists understand chronic conditions in adulthood. Participants go into the draw to win 1 of 10 $50 gift cards. Complete the 15min survey here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BK7MHWJ

SOBR 2021 Student Symposium
The symposium invites student researchers of any level, (High school, Honours, Masters, Clinical Doctorate and PhD), in fields associated with cellular and molecular neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry, neurogenetics, behavioural neuroscience, computational neuroscience, neuropharmacology and more, to present their research in a welcoming and friendly environment.

Date: 25-26 November, 2021

See here for more information

Artificial intelligence in mental health – University of Melbourne
This symposium, with a focus on AI in mental health, will provide an opportunity for researchers working at this intersection to share their work and meet other researchers working in this area.

Time: 9:00AM – 5:00PM
Date: 25 November 2021

See here for more information

The Australian Academy of Science EMCR is hosting Science Pathways 2021.
At Science Pathways 2021: Sustainable Careers, the EMCR Forum will facilitate thought-provoking and engaging discussions around what EMCRs need for their careers to be sustainable. From discussions around the future of work for researchers in academia, industry, and government, managing work-life responsibilities, looking after our mental health, building a more inclusive STEM sector, and more.

The activities of Science Pathways 2021: Sustainable careers will begin with an in-person launch event spread across two half-days on 25 – 26 November 2021 at the University of Melbourne. The first day of the launch event can also be accessed online.

The launch event will be followed by three online-only events in early-December designed for EMCRs to share experiences, network, get inspired, and gain skills from the comfort of their preferred space.

Register here

Staying Connected Australia
A Virtual Early Career Seminar Series on the Neuroscience of Mental Health & Illness. Showcasing the exciting research carried out by some of the best and brightest EMCRs in Neuroscience and Mental Health Research in Australia. Fridays from 1pm to 2pm AEST

Find out more here

Monash Biomedical Imaging Webinars 
Neural mechanisms of altered states of consciousness under psychedelics 
A/Professor Adeel Razi and Devon Stoliker
Turner Institue for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University
Time: 12.30-1.15pm
Date: Thursday 11 November 2021
Register here

Maths in the Brain Workshop 2021 – CHANGE OF DATE
Maths in the Brain will bring together researchers in Victoria 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. Early career researchers will have an opportunity to present their work at the poster and flash talks sessions.

When: Rescheduled for Monday 29 November
Where: Monash Biomedical Imaging, Clayton VIC

See here for more details

Convergence Science Network – Website & Video Library
Convergence Science Network have a new website, where you can find our extensive video library. This includes over 160 videos showcasing amazing ideas and research by researchers from Australia and abroad.

 

Jobs & Opportunities

Follow Neuroscience PhD & ECR Network (@NeuroMelbourne) for neuroscience-related news, events, resources and networking.

Study Coordinator – Murdoch Childrens Research Institue 
Seeking a Research Coordinator to join The Melbourne Children’s Trials Centre. The MCTC provides support for clinical trials, with staff providing support for each stage of the clinical trial process from idea and study design to managing and completing a trial.

See here for more information. Applications close 24 November 2021

PhD Scholarships – Newcastle Cognition Lab, University of Newcastle
The Newcastle Cognition Lab, at the University of Newcastle, Australia, has a PhD scholarship available (standard stipend of AUD$28,597 yearly, tax-free, plus full tuition coverage). The successful PhD candidate will work in a team on two projects, under the mentorship of two postdoctoral fellows on the same projects.

See here for more information.

Postdoc – Monash University
An exciting opportunity exists for a Research Fellow to join the iBRAIN research unit with the aim to take responsibility for the analysis of human structural, diffusion, and/or susceptibility MRI, alongside opportunities to develop skills in PET and MR-PET fusion analyses, as part of ongoing research studies and clinical trials in neurological diseases.

See here for more information. Applications close 12 November 2021

Associate/Full Professor Position – Ohio State University, United States
The Department of Psychology at The Ohio State University invites applications for a behavioral neuroscientist at the level of associate or full professor. The exact discipline area is open for this position, but the ideal applicant will have a nationally-visible research program.

See here for more information.


Are you a Student Of Brain Research in Australia? 

The cross-disciplinary Students of Brain Research (SOBR) group, which has been running successful student-led and student-focused events in Victoria for many years, is going national! ACNS is a proud supporter of SOBR, and its great work over the years in supporting the development of students across all disciplines of Aussie neuroscience!

You can check out the benefits of FREE membership here: www.sobrnetwork.org

SOBR have a very active twitter account, which announces lots of student-focused events: twitter.com/SOBRNetwork @SOBRNetwork

SOBR have also recently partnered with Youth Neuro, a nonprofit organisation aspiring to bridge gaps in STEM education and strengthen the community of young, scientifically-minded leaders. You can find more details here: www.yna.org.au

If you have a student-focused group in cognitive neuroscience, across NZ or Australia, get in contact with us at acns@acns.org.au. We’re keen to support our students! 


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!