The 3rd Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Conference

29 Nov 2012 to 2 Dec 2012 ~ University of Queensland, Brisbane

Conference Information

The 3rd Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Conference was hosted at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, November 29 – December 2, 2012.

This annual meeting brings together researchers from psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience areas, all with a focus on relationships between the brain, mind, and behaviour. We encourage poster and oral presentations from any area of cognitive neuroscience.

University of Queensland campus


  • Psychology
  • Psychiatry
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neuroscience
  • Neuroimaging
  • Physiology
  • Bioengineering

Topic Areas

  • Attention
  • Emotion and Social
  • Executive Processes
  • Language
  • Memory
  • Motor
  • Sensation & Perception


  • Electroencephalography
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • TMS
  • Human brain lesion studies
  • Psychophysics
  • Psychophysiology

International Invited Speakers

  • Professor Kia Nobre, Oxford University, UK
  • Professor Christian Keysers, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience
  • Dr John Serences, University of California, San Diego, USA
  • Professor Sohee Park, Vanderbilt University, USA
  • Dr Valeria Gazzola, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience
  • Professor Kevin Pelphrey, Yale University, USA

Click here for details of Keynote Speakers and Symposia

Kia Nobre
Christian Keysers
John Serences

Student Prizes

We will be awarding prizes for best student presentations, judged by selected members of the ACNS Society.

  • $500 each for best PhD/Masters student Oral and Poster Presentations (sponsored by Compumedics)
  • $250 each for best Honours student Oral and Poster Presentations (sponsored by the ACNS Society)

To be eligible for Student Prizes you must update your Profile information on your ACNS account so that we know who you are and whether you are a PhD/Masters or Honours student. To update your information, just login to your ACNS account and Edit your Profile

Abstracts in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

Abstracts from the conference are available here at Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

Abstracts for the conference have been peer-reviewed and published online in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

Conference Program

Download Full Program Book

See details of Keynote Speakers and Symposia

The conference began with a Keynote Lecture and Opening Reception on the evening of Thursday November 29, followed by 3 full days of conference program. Each day was structured with a morning Symposium as a Plenary Session and conclude with a Keynote Lecture in the late afternoon, with sessions for oral and poster presentations in the middle of the day.

Thursday 29 Nov Friday 30 Nov Saturday 1 Dec Sunday 2 Dec
9:00am: CPCN Workshop

9am: Symposium

Understanding Schizophrenia

9am: Symposium

Action Understanding, Autism, and Mirroring

9am: Symposium

Vision and Perceptual Awareness

Morning tea Morning tea Morning tea

11am: Oral Presentations


11am: Oral Presentations

11am: Oral Presentations

Lunch Lunch Lunch
1pm: Society AGM

1:30pm: Oral Presentations


1:30pm: Oral Presentations

2pm: Oral Presentations


3pm: Poster Session + Afternoon tea

3pm: Poster Session + Afternoon tea


3:30pm: Conference Closing

4:30pm: Keynote Lecture

Professor Christian Keysers, The empathic brain

4:30pm: Keynote Lecture

Professor Kia Nobre, Temporal expectations: the fourth dimension of attention

from 5pm: Registration

Queensland Brain Institute Foyer

6pm: Keynote Lecture

Dr John Serences, Attention and efficiency of information processing

7pm: Opening Reception


7:30pm: Conference Dinner


Pre-Conference CPCN Workshop

The UQ Centre for Perception and Cognitive Neuroscience (CPCN) hosted a 2-day workshop on November 28-29, with half-days of lectures covering the major methods used in cognitive neuroscience research: EEG, functional MRI, TMS, and Connectivity analysis. Lectures were given by the experts in these various fields and covered a brief introduction to the methods leading to more advanced topics on the application of these methods to the study of brain processes underlying behaviour.

Wednesday 28 November Thursday 29 November

9am - 12pm: Advances in EEG

A/Prof Frini Karayanidis, University of Newcastle
A/Prof Paul Corballis, University of Auckland

9am - 12pm: Introduction to TMS

Dr Martin Sale, University of Queensland
Dr Marc Kamke, University of Queensland

Lunch - QBI Seminar - Professor Kia NobreLunch

2pm - 5pm: Advances in Functional MRI

A/Prof Ross Cunnington, University of Queensland
A/Prof Greig de Zubicaray, University of Queensland
Dr John Serences, UC San Diego, USA

1pm - 5pm: Functional Brain Connectivity

Dr Luca Cocchi, University of Queensland
Dr Alex Fornito, University of Melbourne
Dr Andrew Zalesky, University of Melbourne
Prof Michael Breakspear, QIMR

6pm - evening

Student social event

6pm - evening

ACNS Keynote Lecture - Dr John Serences
Evening Reception: Drinks and nibbles

Local Organising Committee and Contact

  • Ross Cunnington, Chair
  • Sakinah Alhadad
  • Jeff Bednark
  • Megan Campbell
  • Luca Cocchi
  • Merryn Constable
  • Harriet Dempsey-Jones
  • Paul Dux
  • Natasha Matthews
  • Jason Mattingley
  • Martin Sale
  • Chase Sherwell

For more information contact

A/Prof Ross Cunnington,
University of Queensland

Conference Sponsors

GOLD Sponsors


Silver Sponsors

symbiotic devices
brain products

Bronze Sponsors

SR Research EyeLink

Other Sponsors

Cambridge Research Systems


Dr John Serences

Attention and the efficiency of information processing in human visual cortex

Keynote Lecture – 6:00pm Thursday 29th November – Sponsored by Cambridge Research Systems

John Serences

John Serences is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Work in his lab employs converging methods including computational modeling, psychophysics, fMRI and EEG to study how attentional factors influence perceptual processing, working memory and decision making. Serences did his undergraduate work at the University of California, San Diego under the guidance of Dr. Harold Pashler, his graduate work at Johns Hopkins University with Dr. Steven Yantis, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Salk Institute with Dr. Geoffrey Boynton. He was a faculty member in the department of Cognitive Sciences at UC Irvine for 1.5 years before moving back to UCSD in 2008. Work in his lab is generously funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health and a James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award.

Professor Christian Keysers

The empathic brain

Keynote Lecture – 4:30pm Friday 30th November

Christian Keysers

Professor Christian Keysers studied Biology and Psychology in Germany (University of Konstanz) and Boston (MIT, Harvard) and made his PhD in St Andrews with David Perrett on the neural basis of facial perception. In 2000, he moved to Parma, Italy where he worked with Giacomo Rizzolatti in the laboratory where mirror neurons were discovered. He contributed to the discovery of auditory mirror neurons in primates and showed that the idea of mirror neurons also applies to our emotions and sensations using fMRI in humans. He then moved to Groningen, the Netherlands, where he became a full professor for the social brain in 2008. In 2010, he moved to Amsterdam to become a department head at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, a research institute of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences. His work has been published in leading journals, including Science, Neuron, Trends in Cognitive Sciences and Current Biology. He is the author of the award winning book “The Empathic Brain” ( that explains how the science of mirror neurons has changed our understanding of human nature and psychiatric disorders.

Professor Kia Nobre

Temporal expectations: the fourth dimension in attention

Keynote Lecture – 4:30pm Saturday 1st December

Kia Nobre

Anna Christina (known as Kia) Nobre is a cognitive neuroscientist interested in understanding the principles of the neural systems that support cognitive functions in the human brain. Her current research investigates how neural activity linked to perception and cognition is dynamically modulated according to memories, task goals, and expectations. She is also interested in understanding how these fine and large-scale regulatory mechanisms develop, and how they are disturbed in disorders of mental health. Her work integrates behavioural methods with a powerful combination of non-invasive techniques to image and stimulate the human brain. Kia obtained her PhD from Yale University. She moved to Oxford in 1994 where she is now Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Oxford and Tutorial Fellow of Psychology at New College. Kia directs the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity, a state-of-the-art facility for scientists investigating the neural dynamics that underpin human cognition and the neural deficits in psychiatric and neurological disorders, and heads the Brain & Cognition Lab, in the Department of Experimental Psychology.

Plenary Symposium 1

Understanding Schizophrenia: Phenomenological, cognitive, and neuroscience perspectives

9:00am Friday 30th November

Professor Sohee ParkVanderbilt University, USA
Abandoned body, weakened self and the internal landscape of schizophrenia

Professor Ulrich SchallUniversity of Newcastle
Brain Imaging Correlates of Emerging Schizophrenia

Dr Alex FornitoUniversity of Melbourne
Connectomic disturbances in schizophrenia

Dr Sharna JamadarMonash University
Functional mapping of semantic association in schizophrenia

Chaired by Professor Pat Michie, University of Newcastle

Plenary Symposium 2

Action Understanding, Autism, and Mirroring

9:00am Saturday 1st December

Dr Kevin PelphreyYale University, USA
Building a translational social neuroscience of autism

Dr Valeria GazzolaNetherlands Institute for Neuroscience
Somatosensation in action

Dr Peter EnticottMonash University
Do mirror systems play a role in social cognition and autism?

Chaired by A/Professor Ross Cunnington, University of Queensland

Plenary Symposium 3

Vision and Perceptual Awareness

9:00am Sunday 2nd December

Dr Derek ArnoldUniversity of Queensland
Why is binocular rivalry uncommon?

Dr Olivia CarterUniversity of Melbourne
Onset rivalry: Brief presentation isolates an early independent phase of perceptual competition.

Dr Joel PearsonUniversity of New South Wales
Accumulating decisional evidence without awareness

Dr Nao TsuchiyaMonash University
Towards a system-level understanding of conscious vision

Chaired by Professor Jason Mattingley, University of Queensland