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Welcome to the June 2022 ACNS newsletter. We announce the winners of the ACNS 2022 Awards! Lots of important info about ABPS. Plus so many jobs and opportunities! 
 
We're so excited to announce the winners of the ACNS 2022 Awards! Hearty congratulations to all of our successful nominees! We look forward to celebrating with you in Brisbane.

Lifetime Contribution Award - Prof Frini Karayanidis
Frini is recognised as an expert in the neural correlates of executive function, particularly in the electrophysiological indices of anticipatory and reactive cognitive control, as measured using the task-switching paradigm. Her work in establishing the event-related potential (ERP) indices of task-switching has become foundational to our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive flexibility in the human brain.
This award recognises the significant research contribution Frini has made to the field, as well as the substantial contribution she has made to the field of cognitive neuroscience in Australia. Her Australasian and international nominators for this award stated: "Frini is a very smart, energetic and thoughtful scientific leader, and tireless advocate for Australasian cognitive neuroscience." Congratulations Frini!
Young Investigator Award - Dr Trevor Chong
Trevor leads the Cognitive Neurology Laboratory at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University. As both a cognitive neuroscientist and a cognitive neurologist, the goal of his research is to understand the neurobiology of decision-making, attention and memory in healthy individuals, and those with neurological disease. Trevor's laboratory addresses this challenge through a multidisciplinary program that combines psychophysics, computational modelling, neuroimaging, pharmacointervention, and patient studies.
This award recognises Trevor's substantive scientific contributions (including over 50 peer-reviewed publications); and his long-standing service to the discipline including to ACNS, ARC, NHMRC, and numerous Australasian and international bodies. Congratulations Trevor - we look forward to your Keynote at ABPS in July!
Emerging Researcher Award - Dr Kelsey Perrykkad
Kelsey is an interdisciplinary cognitive scientist interested how our brains build and maintain a model of the self through interaction with the environment. She combines empirical methods from psychology and neuroscience, and theoretical methods from analytic philosophy to advance our understanding of the reciprocal link between perception and action.
This award recognises Kelsey's substantive early career contributions and commitment to open science, with 15 high quality publications, including her recent paper in Cognition, "The effect of uncertainty on prediction error in the action perception loop". She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Monash University. Congratulations Kelsey!
 
Emerging Researcher Award - Dr Angela Renton
Can neurofeedback be applied to study the neural mechanisms of visual attention? When Angela first started thinking about this question 5 years ago, she was so enamoured by it that she decided to embark upon a PhD on the topic. After helping to establish the University of Queensland’s first brain-computer interface lab, Angela set about developing her own neurofeedback studies. Her work has since been published in 6 peer-reviewed manuscripts, including her recent paper in the Journal of Neuroscience, "Implicit Neurofeedback Training of Feature-Based Attention Promotes Biased Sensory Processing during Integrative Decision-Making".
This award recognises Angela's excellent early career research, as well as her significant commitment to open science. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Queensland Brain Institute. Congratulations Angela! 
Important updates on the Australasian Brain and Psychological Sciences meeting
The Australasian Brain and Psychological Sciences Meeting will be hosted by The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, from July 11th to 14th, 2022. This is a combined meeting of the Australasian Society for Experimental Psychology (EPC), the Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society (ACNS), and the Australian Chapter of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM).

Abstract notifications have just gone out today. Here's some important information to note:

Keynotes
We're pleased to announce our three keynote speakers:
Prof Gavan McNally
A/Prof Lianne Schmaal
Dr Trevor Chong
Social events COVID safety

We’re all excited to be able to attend an in-person conference again. That being said, the threat of Covid-19 infection has not gone away and in fact, there are more cases currently in Southeast Queensland than there has ever been before. Indeed, other international conferences, with limited safety protocols, have recently become “super-spreader” events. This has led some meetings, notably OHBM in Glasgow, to mandate mask wearing and vaccination for attendance. ABPS’s priority is the safety and welfare of all its participants. Our goal is to minimize and mitigate risks, while still enabling a fantastic in-person conference experience.

Considering all these factors, we expect registrants NOT TO attend in-person if they are symptomatic. In addition, while ABPS is not mandating mask wearing (in line with UQ and QLD Government policies), for our inside events – talks, poster sessions and anywhere where social distancing cannot be achieved – it is an expectation that delegates will wear a mask (and social distance as best they can). A supply of masks will be made available at the conference. Given the continued high rates of COVID infections, the potential for significant consequences for those of our attendees with health risks and/or family members who are too young to be vaccinated, masking during the conference is an accommodation that seems appropriate for our meeting.

Registration & other info
Registration is still open! Go to https://www.acns.org.au/product/abps-2022-meeting-registration-bookings/ to register for either in-person or virtual attendance.
Regular updates are provided via the ABPS twitter account as well as the website

Vale Professor Sally Andrews
The Australian psychology community was shocked last month by the untimely passing of Emerita Professor Sally Andrews. Sally will be remembered for her unique leadership style as Head of School first at the University of New South Wales and then the University of Sydney. She will be remembered for her relentless pursuit of scientific excellence, especially in the area of reading. She will be remembered for her passionate commitment to teaching and how she brought to life even the driest content. And for those of us who ever sat with her in a conference presentation, she will be remembered as the smartest, most perceptive person in the room. Sally always asked the (first and) most incisive, intelligent and probing question. Her question encouraged the speaker to dig more deeply into their own work and consider new possibilities, without carrying any note of condescension.

Most importantly, those of us who were personally touched by Sally Andrews will miss the excitement of being in her presence. Sally was a fantastic storyteller. She had the ability to converse passionately and intelligently about any topic – and she would do this at lightning speed with a dry humorous undertone that left most of us ordinary beings trying to keep pace.

Sally Andrews’ influence on Australian cognitive psychology will continue through the work of her academic children and grandchildren, of who she was so proud.
Member Profile - Reece Roberts

Please tell us who you are, your institution and your title
Reece Roberts, Lecturer, The University of Auckland
 
Tell us a little about yourself, and your research interests
 I’m a cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist interested in a range of topics, although my primary interest involves attempting to understand the nature of hippocampal contributions to episodic simulation (i.e., remembering the past and imagining the future). The hippocampus is fascinating because of its well-known involvement in both episodic simulation and spatial navigation, with more recent research implicating it in a range of other cognitive domains (e.g., working memory, language, creative cognition)—the challenge for the field is to develop parsimonious theoretical frameworks that can account for this diversity of function. Personally, I tend to agree with researchers like the late Howard Eichenbaum who propose that the hippocampus performs a general relational processing computation that is capable of acting on representations from a range of different modalities and domains, and the exciting challenge in fMRI research in this field is to develop experimental paradigms that make different predictions than other theoretical frameworks (e.g., the scene construction theory developed by Prof. Eleanor Maguire).
 
How did you get involved with cognitive neuroscience? What is it that you love about our field?
When I started my PhD, I was a good old-fashioned cognitive psychologist doing simple behavioural experiments with the goal of developing purely cognitive models of—in my case—visual working memory, and I actually wasn’t convinced that neuroimaging was particularly informative for this goal. I recall going to an fMRI conference in Melbourne where, in a formal debate, Max Coltheart argued that fMRI was not well placed to inform our understanding of how the mind works, and my memory is that I was one of the few people in the room who agreed with him!
 
My view changed a few years later when I took up a research assistant role with Donna Rose Addis, who mentored me in fMRI analyses; in addition to really enjoying the technical aspects, I came to appreciate the utility of clever, well-designed experiments in constraining our computational/information-processing models of cognition. So, for example, understanding the nature of hippocampal processing is central to understanding the computations underlying episodic memory, and fMRI (and related techniques) are one of the best tools that we have to help us develop such an understanding.
 
The thing that I really love about the field is that we have a really incredible breadth of interesting puzzles that we are faced with in our research—from “low-level” technical issues (“How to maximise signal-to-noise ratio in my data”) to much higher-level issues that are somewhat philosophical (“What is the nature of the psychological constructs that we are mapping onto patterns of fMRI activation?”).
 
If you could tell the younger generation of neuroscientists one thing, what would that be?
I think cognitive neuroscience as a field is making incredible strides in terms of the technical aspects of the field (e.g., processing pipelines, analytic techniques, acquisition protocols etc.), and I sometimes fear that this progress is offset by a failure to wrestle with older, perhaps more fundamental questions of cognitive science. There is a relative abundance of online forums and communities where early career researchers can, for example, seek advice on the optimal pipeline for multivariate pattern analyses, but there are far fewer spaces where they can discuss the nature of the relationship between patterns of fMRI activation and the notion of “representation” in cognitive science. I don’t think this is a purely philosophical question, but rather it’s a question that is central to our field, and so my advice would be to keep such  questions about the meaning of your data in mind.
 
How did you spend your time during COVID-19 iso? For example, have you been baking, learning new yoga routines, teaching the kids, or recreating some famous art?
We’ve had a fair amount of COVID-19 lockdowns in Auckland, and the timing has been somewhat of a blessing as it’s allowed me to be home for the birth of our second daughter and spend much more time with her than I would have otherwise.
Cool stuff we found on the interwebs

Davis Summarizes Papers
Every week, there are about 600 new machine learning papers submitted to arXiv. Davis goes through all these submissions and identifies 10-20 that he thinks are especially interesting, practical, or promising. He then writes a summary of each one, often with some commentary. Subscribe to his newsletter here.

Sid Chopra's neuro tools in R:
  • neuRo visualisations: A collection of notebooks that introduce voxel, vertex, edge and ROI level neuro visualisation in R developed by Sid Chopra. See here.
  • brainconn: An R package for visualising edge-level brain connectivity data in 2D and 3D. See here.
  • carpetplotR: A fast and easy command-line tool for visualisation of fMRI data quality using carpet plots. See here

Null models in network neuroscience
Implementations of randomization and generative null models for network neuroscience, in Python, MATLAB and R. František Váša & Bratislav Mišić compiled a list of existing toolboxes for null model implementations for their recent paper. See 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!
CAETS Communication Prizes
The CAETS Communication Prizes recognise effective audiovisual communication to a general audience of how applied technology and engineering has been or can be used to address a real-world problem, and the resulting benefits to the economy or society.

There are two categories:
  • Category 1 - Engineering success stories
  • Category 2 - High potential innovations
Applications close 10 June 2022
See here for details

New essay competition for Brain 
Brain are launching a new competition, seeking writing which stimulates, provokes and makes our readers reflect. The best of these will be published in our ‘Essay’ section and highlighted on our website and social media as an ‘Editor’s Choice’ article, which will be freely available to all readers.

Applications close 30 September 2022
See here for details 

SOBR Brain Art Competition
Create a piece of art in any form (i.e. painting, digital etc.) that has the theme of the brain. This could be of the whole brain or some neurons, the more creative the better! This could also be a creative photo of MRI imaging of an actual brain (if human, please ensure the image is deidentified). Attach a photo or the digital artwork itself (pdf, jpg or png form) below and fill in some information about you.

See here for details

BrainHack Australasia
Brainhack Australasia would like your input! Brainhack is a collaborative conference, where the community works together building tools for reproducible neuroimaging and open science. Brainhacks are great places to learn or flex your computational skills in neuroimaging. To see what we're about see our review paper in Neuron https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2021.04.001. This year the Brainhack Australasia meeting will be in-person! But where? When? Complete our short questionnaire to tell us your preferences https://sydney.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0wWmYMZcA1OIdOm
Post-doc position in cognitive aging, University of Newcastle 
The Functional Neuroimaging Lab has an opening for a 2-yr postdoctoral research position to work on two externally funded projecs that focus on promoting heathy ageing. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with a preferred start date between July and September 2022. 

For more information contact Professor Frini Karayanidis (Frini.Karayanidis@newcastle.edu.au)


Post-doc in neurobiology research, Brain and Mind Centre at University of Sydney
Full time 12 month fixed term with possible extension for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to join the Brain and Mind Centre to study the relationships between mental health, sleep/wake cycles, and circadian rhythms.

Applications close 12 June 2022
See here for details. 


Project Officer, University of Melbourne 
A role exists within the Learning and Teaching Unit in The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, for a Graduate Researcher (GR) who has recently submitted or an ECR, who is interested in instructional design. This position will be responsible for the development of an e-learning resource for GR/ECRs across the University, in collaboration with the project team.

Applications close 16 June 2022
See here for details.


3 x Lecturer/ Senior Lecturer in Psychology, University of Sydney 
The School welcomes applications from any field, however, it is anticipated that two of the positions will come from Experimental Psychology/Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience (broadly defined) and one from Applied Psychology (also broadly defined). The successful candidates will contribute to enhancing the School’s research and teaching excellence.

Applications close 29 June 2022
See here for details


Post-doc in cognitive neuroscience, University of Queensland
Fixed-term position for up to 3 years. The successful applicant will be responsible for conducting research in the broad field of cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology, with particular emphasis on understanding fundamental mechanisms of creative thought, which involves both executive control processes and semantic cognition.

Applications close 20 July 2022
See here for details


Lecturer in Environmental Psychology, University of Canterbury
The successful candidate will possess a promising research record in any area of Environmental Psychology. In this role you will contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in environmental psychology; assist with academic initiatives within the School and the University; assist with the supervision of research related to Environmental Psychology; and seek external funding to support staff and student research. Expertise in climate change communication, behaviour change, and/or environmental sustainability is desirable. 

Applications close 17 July 2022
See here for details

 

Global Brain Health Leaders for the 2023-24 Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health Program
The Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) embraces science, art, and creativity to improve our understanding of brain health and dementia, and to lead change in practice, perception, and policy.

Since 2016, the Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health program has trained a global community of emerging interprofessional leaders in brain health and dementia prevention through its 12-month residential program at its founding sites at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Trinity College Dublin (Trinity). 

GBHI is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2023–24 Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health program commencing in September 2023.

Applications close 5 October 2022
See here for details

Cognitive Science meet-up event in Melbourne
The meet-up is designed for those who are working or studying in fields relating to cognitive science (psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, anthropology, computer science, philosophy, etc. etc.).

This meet-up is in the context of the 2022 Cognitive Science Society meeting (a hybrid conference in Toronto at the end of July). However, there is no obligation for attendees to be attending that meeting; our goal here is to build a community of researchers across Melbourne/Victoria of varying career stages (from undergraduates to professional researchers) who are working on or have an interest in topics related to cognitive science. 

When: 2:00PM-4:00PM, 27 July 2022
Where: University of Melbourne, Parkville (room TBA)

Register by 15 July. 
See here for details. 


Students of Brain Research (SOBR) Annual Dinner
"Plasticity of the Brain, World, Science, and You"
Friday 24th June 6PM - 10PM

Ticket sales close 10 June 2022. See here for details


SOBR Short Talks
Quick, bite-sized presentations covering all areas of brain research. Sign up and come along to ask questions and provide some useful feedback in a friendly support environment.

The next one is 8 June 2022, 10:30AM. 
See here for details. 

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 


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
A/Prof David Wright
The glymphatic system in motor neurone disease

In this webinar, Associate Professor David Wright from the Department of Neuroscience, Monash University, will outline recent advances in using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate the glymphatic system. He will also present some of his lab’s recent work investigating glymphatic clearance in preclinical models of motor neurone disease.

12.30-1.15pm
Wednesday, 6 July 2022
See here for details.


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.

 

Got some news and events to share? Please email acns@acns.org.au before the end of the month and we'll include it in the next newsletter!
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