AS4SAN PhD and ECR Training Grant Deadline Extended!

Good news, everyone!

The application deadline for the 2019 AS4SAN PhD and ECR Training Grant has been extended until 11.59pm, Thursday May 16!

Don’t miss out on your opportunity to win AU$1000 to visit another social and affective neuroscience lab in the Australasian region and learn a new technique to be used in your research.

For all the details on the training grant scheme, including how to apply, click here!

AS4SAN Conference Abstract Submission Now Open!

We are pleased to announce that abstract submission for the 2019 AS4SAN Conference are now open!


The organising committee invites you to Newcastle, Australia, for the the first AS4SAN conference in the beautiful Hunter Valley.

We have a fantastic lineup of keynote speakers including Frank Scott Hall (University of Toledo), Belinda Craig (University of New England), and Izelle Labuschagne (Australian Catholic University). AS4SAN President Fiona Kumfor (University of Sydney) will deliver the Presidential address.

Abstract submissions for the 2019 AS4SAN conference are now open. Presentations at the conference will be either:

  • 15 minute platform presentations (TBC)

  • 5 minute data blitz presentations (and poster presentation)

  • Poster presentation only

For further information, or to submit your abstract, click here. The deadline for abstract submissions is March 25, 2019.

Registration for the 2019 AS4SAN Conference will open on February 28th, 2019. Early bird registration prices will be available until May 1st, 2019.

Further information relating to the conference can be found here. Don’t hesitate to contact the AS4SAN Committee if you have any questions!

Sunset in Newcastle

Sunset in Newcastle

AS4SAN Changes Society Rules

At the 5th Annual Australasian Society for Social and Affective Neuroscience (AS4SAN) Conference members were presented with a series of proposed amendments to the Society rules. The main aims of the proposed rule changes were to:

  1. Allow the Society to be eligible to apply for a broader range of grants and funding schemes;

  2. Allow the Society to receive philanthropic donations;

  3. Align Society rules surrounding membership to better reflect current processes; and

  4. Minimise administrative processes relating to Society and Committee membership.

All proposed amendments were voted on and passed by attendees at the Annual General meeting.

The rules of the Society can be found HERE.

Please contact the AS4SAN committee via email ( if you have any questions relating to the recent amendments to the Society rules.


Happy holidays

The AS4SAN committee would like to wish you all the best for the festive season and a happy start to the New Year.

Thank you for being involved with AS4SAN this year. We’re looking forward to some fantastic events next year, including our 6th Annual Conference which will be held in Newcastle on 17-19th June.

Hope you have a wonderful break and see you all in 2019!

Fiona Kumfor, Michelle Kelly, Sarah Whittle, Lincoln Tracy, Pascal Molenberghs, Femke Buisman-Pijlman, Travis Wearne, Alan Pegna & Juan Dominguez

AS4SAN Survey


We are currently conducting a survey to understand the scope and nature of social and affective neuroscience in the Australasian region. Data gathered will be used in a future publication outlining our findings. We also hope to use this information to lobby policy-makers, funding bodies and to attract philanthropic funding for the field. 

It only takes 5 mins to complete!

For more information, please click here 

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2018 AS4SAN PhD and ECR Training Grant Winner

Congratulations to Sally Richmond

The winner of the inaugural AS4SAN PhD and ECR Training Grand is Sally Richmond, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow from the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre at the University of Melbourne. Sally will be visiting Dr Nyonman Kurniawan at the Microimaging facility at the Centre for Advanced Imaging (CAI), The University of Queensland, to learn about the methodology and analyses involved in describing the structural connectome in mice. She then hopes to apply these techniques to her own research in children to develop a translational understanding of the impact of chronic stress on the brain

We wish Sally luck during her visit and look forward to hearing the outcome at the 2019 Conference. 

We would also like to commiserate all the other applicants. The applications received were of a very high standard and it was difficult to select a winner. The grant will re-open for applications in 2019. 




We are delighted to announce the winners of the presentation prizes at the 5th AS4SAN Conference

Best Oral Presentation - Travis Wearne (UNSW) - It takes two to tango: Phyisological responding during dyadic conversations

Best Datablitz Presentation - Michelle Lamblin (Monash) - Neural homophily of adolescent friendship dyads

Best Poster - Jason Turner (UTAS) - The effect of acute alcohol intoxication on the ability to detect sarcasm and metacognitive judgements of sarcasm detection ability


5th AS4SAN Conference

Thank you to everyone who was able to join us at our 5th Annual Conference in Brisbane. Special thanks to David Shum, Maryam Ziaei, Alexandra Adams, Liza van Eijk, Alan Pegna & Chrsty Hogan for organising. It was a fantastic program and a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and make new connections.   

The AS4SAN PhD and ECR training grant

Goal: The aim of the AS4SAN PhD and ECR training grant is to increase collaboration between Social and Affective Neuroscience labs within the Australasian region, and to increase knowledge of different social and affective neuroscience methodologies. The goal of the grant is for a PhD student or early career researcher (<2 years post-PhD) in the Australasian region to go to another lab in the Australasian region to learn a new technique and start a research collaboration with another lab.

Who is eligible? Australasian PhD students or early career researchers (less than 2 years post-PhD-graduation) who want to learn a new technique (that is essential for their research) in another lab in the Australasian region. The new technique has to be relevant for social and/or affective neuroscience research. For example, the technique can be fMRI (which is not only relevant for social and/or affective neuroscience) but you have to show how you are going to apply it in your own social and/or affective neuroscience research. The goal is to bring the new knowledge back to their own lab, and to strengthen collaborative social and affective neuroscience research within the Australasian region. It is essential that the candidate physically spends a certain amount at the other lab. Eligible candidates must have attended the 2017 AS4SAN conference in Melbourne or have registered for the 2018 AS4SAN conference in Brisbane or pay a $50 AS4SAN membership fee.

How much? The winner will receive AU$1000 which can be spent on travel, accommodation, and project costs.

Application: The application involves a (maximum) two-page cover letter (Times New Roman, 12-point font; minimum 1.5 cm margins) and a copy of your CV. Critical information that needs to be addressed in the cover letter includes:

1)      What is the technique that you are going to learn at the lab you plan to visit?

2)      Why is it this the best lab to learn the technique?

3)      How is the technique relevant for social and affective neuroscience research?

4)      Why is it essential for your research and your career that you physically go there to learn this technique?

5)      Why are you the perfect person to receive this grant?

6)      How will the grant increase collaboration between different labs in the Australasian region.

7)      How will you use the newly learnt technique in your research and how will it benefit the lab where you work?

8)      What will be the outcomes of you receiving this grant?

9)      If successful, how will the money be spent?

10)   Address the eligibility criteria.

Rules: The money needs to be spent before the 2019 AS4SAN conference. After the trip, the successful applicant needs to write a one-page report about the experience and outcomes which will be circulated through to AS4SAN newsletter to all AS4SAN members.

Application opens: 1st of March 2018.

Application closes: 31st of May 2018.

How to apply? Please send your CV and a one page cover letter to Please also include a signed statement from your supervisor and the PI of the lab you are planning to visit in which they confirm their support for your visit.

Application outcomes: The winner will be announced at the 2018 AS4SAN conference in Brisbane.


Workshops announced


In 2017 we will host two free half-day workshops at the Melbourne Brain Centre. In the morning we will host an fMRI analysis workshop for beginners. During this workshop you will learn: 1. the theoretical basis behind fMRI; 2. how to set up an fMRI experiment; and 3. get hands-on experience on how to analyse and interpret fMRI data with SPM. Students have to bring their own laptop with Matlab and SPM12 installed. 

In the afternoon a workshop on neuropsychological tests related to social and affective neuroscience will take place. During this workshop you will learn which tests are best suited to test for different social and affective cognitive functioning and get hands-on experience on how to conduct these tests. Places for both workshops are limited. If you want to take part in one or both workshops please send an email before the 31st of March to with your CV and a short paragraph explaining why you are the ideal candidate for that particular workshop.

2017 conference date confirmed!

The 2017 AS4SAN conference will take place on the 15th and 16th of June at the Melbourne Brain Centre. 

Keynote presenters include Prof. Shihui Han (Peking University), Prof. Skye McDonald (UNSW), Prof. Kim Felmingham (University of Melbourne), A/Prof. Peter Enticott (Deakin University), Prof. Bernard Balleine (UNSW) and Professor Eddie Harmon-Jones (UNSW). 

2016 international Keynote Announced

Marc Sollberger is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University Center for Medicine of Aging Basel and the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland. He worked for two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center investigating clinical and neural substrates of personality traits and self-awareness in neurodegenerative disease. His current research areas include the perception of emotional and social signals in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and psychiatric diseases.

Save the Date - Announcement of the 3rd National Meeting

The 3rd AS4SAN meeting held in conjunction with Brain Sciences UNSW will be held 23-24th June 2016 at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).

The conference organising committee include:

  • Prof Skye McDonald, UNSW
  • A/Prof Branka Spehar, UNSW
  • A/Prof Olivier Piguet, NeuRA
  • Dr Michelle Kelly, University of Newcastle
  • Dr Jacqueline Rushby, UNSW
  • Dr Steve Most, UNSW
  • Dr Fiona Kumfor, NeuRA
  • Dr Cynthia Honan, University of Tasmania

Stay tuned for more information.