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BNA2017 Conference hailed a ‘world neuroscience festival’

19 Ebrill 2017

John Aggleton BNA

Thousands of delegates turned out for this year’s British Neuroscience Association (BNA) Conference held in Birmingham last week (10-13 April).

More than 1,200 delegates came together at the city’s International Convention Centre (ICC) for the annual neuroscience conference, which is organised as a national celebration of neuroscience.

The festival, which partnered with The Physiological Society and also boasts Cardiff University as a bronze sponsor, saw visitors enjoy a jam-packed scientific programme of public events, workshops and lectures throughout the week.

Six plenary lectures delivered by internationally recognised speakers were interspersed with 40 symposia sessions and special events, including ‘Speed Dating’ for those looking to pursue a career in science.

Research Fellow Dr Emma Yhnell, Dr Laura Westacott and PhD student Anna Moon were just some of the Cardiff University representatives to join 750 researchers from across the country in presenting posters explaining their research to delegates.

Competition winner Jo Bailey, Uni of Southampton

The main hall played host to a major trade exhibition featuring more than 60 exhibition stands. Cardiff University was pleased to present a stand that represented Schools of Psychology, Biosciences and the Neurosciences and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI).

The NMHRI also ran an interactive photo competition at the stand, whereby delegates matched MRI scans with the brain’s corresponding animal before uploading a photo-frame selfie with their mammal to #NeuroscienceCardiff.

Competition winner Jo Bailey, from University of Southampton, had a spring in her step as she claimed the tempting prize of wine and chocolate after using the crib sheets to correctly identifying a cat brain.

On Tuesday 11 April, Professor John Aggleton FRS, who is President of the BNA and Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Cardiff University’s School of Psychology, presented a stirring President’s Symposium.

In the lecture, sponsored by the Experimental Psychology Society, Professor Aggleton highlighted how neuroscience can meaningfully inform the way that education is delivered, and proclaimed the BNA Conference a ‘world festival’.

“The conference was a fantastic and rewarding week,” said Dr Laura Westacott, who passed her final PhD assessment the day before travelling from Cardiff to Birmingham to present her research poster.

“My research area focuses on how our brain’s immune system impacts fear reactivity. It was useful to speak with other students and professionals about the different ways neuroscience is approached across the country.”

Dr Emma Yhnell, Health and Care Research Wales Fellow at Cardiff University’s NMHRI, added: “The BNA provides a central space for individuals and organisations who are committed to the progression of neuroscience to come together and celebrate the best approaches to achieve our collective goals.

“Like many others who choose to pursue a career in research, helping people and families who are affected a range of serious neurological conditions such as Huntington’s disease is always at the heart of my work.

"The importance of communicating our research to the general public cannot be understated."

Video clip, BNA

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