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Cambridge Neuroscience Seminar 2018 - Mental Plasticity & Development


Monday March 12th 2018


Robinson College, Cambridge


Cambridge Neuroscience Seminar at Robinson College on Monday 12th March 2018

Cambridge Neuroscience is delighted to announce the 30th Cambridge Neuroscience Seminar, 'Mental Plasticity & Development' hosted by the Department of Psychology on Monday 12th March 2018, at Robinson College.

The aim of this annual interdisciplinary meeting (about 280-300 delegates) is to give a snapshot into the extent of neuroscience research here in Cambridge and how it fits into the broader context of neuroscience worldwide.  This year will focus on areas of research that highlight the interdisciplinary nature of the Psychology Department here at Cambridge, with sessions covering neural architectures and plasticity mechanisms that enable the development of knowledge, memory and skill acquisition.

Data Blitz at CNS 2018 on Monday 12th March 2018

There will be a data blitz for early career researchers held during the main programme. Abstracts will be selected from submitted poster abstracts. Research can cover any of the five themes of Cambridge Neuroscience. Deadline for Abstract submission is Monday February 26th 2018 and presenters will be notified of selection by Friday March 2nd (Early abstract submission is advisable) to ensure adequate preparation time. Selected presenters will be allowed to speak for a maximum of 3 minutes.

Poster exhibition at CNS 2018 on Monday 12th March 2018

There will be a extended poster exhibition held during the conference with generous prizes. Posters can cover any of the five themes of Cambridge NeuroscienceDeadline for Abstract submission is Monday February 26th 2018.

Please note that poster boards will be 1 metre (w) by 2 metres (h). Please note that the optimum size for posters is A0 portrait (i.e. 841mm (w) x 1189mm (h)). If your poster is already printed and does not fit these requirements, please contact Dervila Glynn.

Public Engagement Programme on Monday 12th March 2018

As part of this conference, we are delighted to be able to host the Cambridge Neuroscience Public Lecture that will be held in association with the Cambridge Science Festival.

Professor Paul Fletcher (Department of Psychiatry, Cambridge) will deliver the public lecture - "I'm not mad: I only bend reality so that I can see around the corners". This lecture is free to attend and will be followed by a drinks reception.

Reception and Conference Dinner at Robinson College on Monday 12th March 2018

There will be a drinks reception and conference dinner at Robinson College on Monday 12th March following the meeting (extra fee payable). Places are available for this reception and dinner.

Register Now (details, dietary requirements, abstracts)!


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Programme at a Glance

CNS2018 | Mental Plasticity and Development

Provisional programme


08:00-09:00            Registration, coffee and light breakfast

09:00-09:05            Opening remarks, Professor Mark Johnson, Department of Psychology


Session 1:

Chaired by Professor Mark Johnson, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge

09:05-09:35            Professor David Rowitch, Department of Paediatrics, University of Cambridge

09:35-10:05            Dr Sarah Lloyd Fox, Birkbeck, University of London

10:05-10:45            Cambridge Neuroscience Opening Plenary Lecture

                              Professor Essi Viding, UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences 


10.45-11.15            Refreshments


Session 2:

Chaired by Professor Usha Goswami, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge

11.15-11.45            Dr Joni Holmes, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge

11:45-12:15           Professor Paul Ramchandani, Imperial College London, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge


12:15-12:50           Data Blitz, Moderated by TBA


12:50-14:20           Lunch, Poster Session and Trade exhibition


Session 3:

Chaired by Professor Zoe Kourtzi, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge

14:20-14:50            Dr Jasper Poort, Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour, University College London

                              (University of Cambridge from October 2018)

14:50-15:20            Dr Amy Milton, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge

15:20-15:50            Professor Angela Roberts, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge


15.50-16:20            Refreshments


Session 4:

Chaired by Professor Trevor Robbins, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge

16:20-16:50            Dr Karen Ersche, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge

                             Where there's a Will, there's a Way: The Changing Faces of Drug Addiction

16:50-17:20            Dr Jon Simons, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge


17:20-18:00            Cambridge Neuroscience Closing Plenary Lecture

        Professor Matthew Botvinick

        Google DeepMind and Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, UCL


18:00-18:10            Closing remarks by Professor Trevor Robbins

        Awards, arrival of public audience 


18:10-19:00            The Cambridge Neuroscience Public Lecture

        Introduced by Professor Chris Frith, University College London

        Professor Paul Fletcher, Department of Psychiatry

        "I'm not mad: I only bend reality so that I can see around the corners"

19:00-19:45            Drinks reception, Robinson College

19:45-21:30            Conference dinner, The Dining Hall, Robinson College



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How to Get to Robinson College

Robinson is situated in Grange Road (CB3 9AN), close to the centre of Cambridge. Grange Road runs between Barton Road and Madingley Road and is parallel to Queens' Road (the 'Backs').

The best way to approach the College by road from the north, south or east is from Junction 12 of the M11.

Quick link to Location Map

Directions by Road

Quick link to Pedestrian / Cyclists' Directions

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Please read the following information carefully:

Registration fees are heavily subsidised and include refreshments, lunch, a conference brochure, in addition to admittance to all talks.

Attendance at conference dinner and reception will incur an additional cost.

We take receipt of a completed registration form as acceptance of the terms and conditions as stipulated and subsequent payment must be made using the online payment system or via your department (internal delegates only).

Delegate registration deadline: March 5th 2018

Abstract submission deadline: February 26th 2018


Cambridge Neuroscientists: 

  • Please register using the Cambridge Neuroscience web-based system (required).
  • We will be collecting your payment on a Departmental/Institution basis so please provide your group leader's name and account code checking with your PI first. You must enter some text into the 'account code' section. Please enter 'paid by cc' if paying for yourself.
  • If you wish to pay for yourself by card, please use the separate online payment system (your department will not be charged a second time). Please note that you still need to register using the Cambridge Neuroscience web-based system (required).
  • The online payment booking system accepts all major credit/debit cards apart from American Express.
  • Please note that cheques or cash will not be accepted on the day of the conference.
  • Abstracts: Please note that you cannot upload abstracts using the online payment system. Abstracts must be uploaded using the Cambridge Neuroscience web-based system.
  • You must hold a profile on Cambridge Neuroscience to avail of these subsidised registration fees. 
  • See below for cancellation policy.


Registration costs

Undergraduates - £10

Emeritus member - £10

Postgraduate students - £20.00

Research Assistants - £25.00

Postdoctoral Research Associates - £30.00

Faculty/PI and other - £35.00

Conference dinner at Robinson College - £35


Academics not from Cambridge: Registration is a 2-stage process.


Registration costs

Undergraduates - £40.00

Postgraduate students, Research Assistants - £50.00

Postdocs, Faculty/PI and other - £80.00

Conference dinner at Robinson College - £50


Industry or other: Registration is a 2-stage process.


Registration costs

Conference registration - £100

Conference dinner at Robinson College - £50


Cancellation Policy - Terms and Conditions

  • We hope that you will not have to cancel your registration, however, should this be necessary please see the terms below.
  • We take receipt of a completed Cambridge Neuroscience registration form as acceptance of the terms and conditions as stipulated and subsequent payment must be made using the online payment system.
  • Cancellation of your conference registration will only be possible before the following dates by sending an email to
  • Cancellation before 5th March: 100% refund of registration fee
  • Cancellation after 5th March: no refund
  • Cambridge Neuroscience is not responsible for accommodation bookings for the conference. Any cancellation policy should be checked with the hotel when a reservation is made and claims should be made directly with the hotel.
  • Payment by external delegates must be received in full prior to the conference. Access will not be permitted if full payment has not been received.
  • Delegates who do not attend the conference (and have not cancelled their registration within the correct time frame) will be charged accordingly.



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Sponsorship Packages Available

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This is generally a very popular meeting with Cambridge Neuroscientists coming from over 40 different Neuroscience related Departments and Institutions affiliated with the University of Cambridge. For further information regarding Cambridge Neuroscience, please visit our website:

Registration for this event is heavily subsidised and the evening public lecture is free of charge. As such, we are asking for sponsorship donations and offering exhibition space for suppliers to showcase their products to our research scientists.

We have some exciting sponsorship packages available, including invitations to the conference dinner at Robinson College and extended contact time for sponsors with the conference delegates during the poster sessions. This could be an excellent opportunity for your company to communicate that it is making a significant investment in Neuroscience in Cambridge.

Please contact Dr Dervila Glynn for more information on the different sponsorship opportunities available.

Sponsorship Packages Available

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Please contact Dr Dervila Glynn for more information.

Accommodation and spending time in Cambridge

For everything you need to know about Cambridge including reserving accommodation for your stay in one of the Cambridge Colleges, please see the Meet Cambridge website. Here you will find details about transport, parking, guided tours and a ‘What’s on’ guide to help you plan your time while in Cambridge.

In addition, there are several city centre hotels and guesthouses in Cambridge, which offer a wide range of accommodation with something to suit every taste and budget. Staying in historic Cambridge college accommodation during the student vacations is a unique opportunity. With centrally-located bed and breakfast (B&B) rooms available per person, per night, it offers a cost effective option for those looking for city centre accommodation. You could trace the footsteps of graduates such as Newton, Darwin, Wordsworth, John Cleese, and Prince Charles. You will eat in the college hall, and could wander through the college's gardens and courts, learn about the college's history followed by a drink in the college bar.

Please see the official website for visiting Cambridge and the surrounding area for more details.

Further events

Go to the events index page.