The programme committee have reviewed and selected these events on the basis of their quality and timeliness. There will be over 160 UK and international speakers who will present on cutting-edge topics across twelve research themes across neuroscience. Please use the links below to browse programme content.


  1. Plenaries
  2. President's Symposium
  3. Programme by day
  4. Programme by theme
  5. Talk abstracts
  6. List of chairs and speakers
  7. Early-career events
  8. Satellite Symposium


Professor Masud HusainUniversity of Oxford
When memory and motivation fade in brain disorders 

18:10 Monday 10th April
Sponsored by Johnson and Johnson Innovation

Professor Andrea BrandUniversity of Cambridge
Nutritional control of neural stem cells

11:20, Tuesday 11th April
Sponsored by The Guarantors of the Brain

Professor Graham Collingridge (winner of the 2016 Brain Prize),University of Toronto / University of Bristol
Synaptic plasticity, memory, and molecules

16:40, Tuesday 11th April
Sponsored by The Brain Prize

Professor Alon ChenMax Planck Institute of Psychiatry
Genetic and optogenetic dissection of the central stress response and stress-linked psychiatric disorders

11:20, Wednesday 12th April
In association with The Physiological Society

Professor May-Britt Moser (2014 Nobel prize winner for Physiology and Medicine), Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Brain mechanisms for representing space

16:40, Wednesday 12th April
In Association with The Wolstencroft Trust

Professor Sarah Jayne BlakemoreUCL
Adolescence as a sensitive period of brain development

12:00, Thursday 13th April

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President's Symposium

Current BNA President Professor John Aggleton FRS has selected to highlight how neuroscience can meaningfully inform the way education is delivered. 

PRESIDENT'S SYMPOSIUM: Neuroscience informed education (S16) 

Tuesday 11th April, 13:20 - 15:00
Sponsored by the Experimental Psychology Society

Chair: Professor Paul Howard-Jones (University of Bristol)

  • Speaker 1: Dr Heidi Johansen-Berg (University of Oxford) 'Fit to study'
  • Speaker 2: Professor Usha Goswami (University of Cambridge) 'GrahoGame Rime - aiding learning'
  • Speaker 3: Professor Michael Thomas (Birkbeck, University of London) 'New initiatives in educational neuroscience'
  • Speaker 4: Dr Katie Blackmore (University of Bristol) 'Engaging the brain's reward system

The speakers will outline ways in which our understanding of neuroscience can be applied to improving methods of education. The talks will include different components of a major project funded by the Wellcome Trust, The Education and Neuroscience Initiative, which seeks to test different ways of applying our knowledge of brain function to the classroom. 

You can attend the President's symposium by selecting it during the Festival registration process.

Sponsored by:
The Experimental Psychology Society

Paul Howard-Jones is also giving a public lecture on this topic: see public programme

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Programme by day

Day one (Monday 10th April 2017) - download day 1 pdf

Day two (Tuesday 11th April 2017) - download day 2 pdf

Day three (Wednesday 12th April 2017) - download day 3 pdf

Day four (Thursday 13th April 2017) - download day 4 pdf

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Programme by theme

We have twelve themes running throughout the Festival, covering a wide range of neuroscience research and applications:

Attention, motivation, behaviour

S1: Neural networks of fear and anxiety - PTSD - Monday 10th April, 13.00 - 14.40

S5: Disorders of motivation in brain conditions - Monday 10th April, 16.20 - 18.00
Sponsored by the Association of British Neurologists

S11: Neuronal control of nutrition: integrating energy balance and motivation - Tuesday 11th April, 9:00 - 10:40

S33: What is special about 'social'? - Thursday 13th April, 9:00 - 10:40
Sponsored by the British Psychological Society

Sensory and motor systems

S2: Spinal motor control: more than just a reflex - Monday 10th April, 13:00 - 14:40

S18: The relevance of invertebrate neuroscience to food security - Tuesday 11th April, 13:20 - 15:00

S22: Information integration across the senses - Wednesday 12th April, 9:00 - 10:40

S27: Towards a causal understanding of motor learning in humans: a role for non-invasive brain stimulation - Wednesday 12th April, 13:20 - 15:00
Sponsored by Rogue Resolutions

S34: MRI at 7 Tesla: new capabilities and insights - Thursday 13th April, 9:00 - 10:40
Sponsored by Oxford Neuroscience

Novel treatments and translational neuroscience

S3: Novel targets for pain, depression and their co-morbidity - Monday 10th April, 13:00 - 14:40
Sponsored by Neuroscience Ireland

S24: Epilepsy and precision medicine - Wednesday 12th April, 9:00 - 10:40
Sponsored by the Association of British Neurologists

S30: Bad Pharma? Improving CNS drug discovery and development with live human CNS tissue - Wednesday 12th April, 13:20 - 15:00
Sponsored by Takeda

Genetics and epigenetics

S6: Epigenetics: causes and consequences of neurological disorders - Monday 10th April, 16:20 - 18:00
Sponsored by the Biochemical Society

S17: Genetics of language disorders: from gene mapping to biological mechanisms - Tuesday 11th April, 13:20 - 15:00
Supported by The Genetics Society

S28: Epigenetics, placenta and developmental programming: coordination of mother and offspring brain - Wednesday 12th April, 13:20 - 15:00
Supported by The Genetics Society

Learning and memory

S7: Retrosplenial cortex - a gateway to episodic memories? - Monday 10th April, 16:20 - 18:00

S16: PRESIDENT'S SYMPOSIUM: Neuroscience informed education - Tuesday 11th April, 13:20 - 15:00
Sponsored by the Experimental Psychology Society

Neurodegenerative disorders and ageing

S9: Towards disease modifying drugs for neurodegeneration: connecting learnings from genetics, molecular and pathology studies - Monday 10th April, 16:20 - 18:00

S12: Old brains, new insights - Tuesday 11th April, 9:00 - 10:40

S23: The APOE paradox: pathway to Alzheimer's disease - Wednesday 12th April, 9:00 - 10:40

Developmental neuroscience

S19: Neurobiological roots of brain tumours - Tuesday 11th April, 13:20 - 15:00
Sponsored by the British Neuropathological Society and the British Neuro-Oncology Society

Neuronal, glial and cellular mechanisms

S10: Microglia, neuroinflammation and psychiatric disease: biomarkers and therapeutic potential - Tuesday 11th April, 9:00 - 10:40
Sponsored by the British Association for Psychopharmacology

S15: Synaptic plasticity in physiological contexts - Tuesday 11th April, 13:20 - 15:00
Supported by Scientifica

S21: Opioids revisited: new developments and opportunities for opioid pharmacology - Wednesday 12th April, 9:00 - 10:40
Sponsored by the British Pharmacological Society

S29: From channelopathies to synaptopathies - Wednesday 12th April, 13:20 - 15:00

S32: Understanding microglial functional heterogeneity in the healthy and diseased brain - Thursday 13th April, 9:00 - 10:40
Sponsored by Alzheimer's Research UK

The Neurobiology of Stress - A Topic Meeting of The Physiological Society

S14: Stress and cardiovascular control - Tuesday 11th April, 9:00 - 10:40

S20: Imaging the Emotional Brain: fMRI studies in rodents and man - Tuesday 11th April, 13:20 - 15:00

S25: Environment and synaptic function - Wednesday 12th April, 9:00 - 10:40

S31: Long-term effects of early life activation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis: a comparative approach - Wednesday 12th April, 13:20 - 15:00

Neuroendocrine and autonomic nervous sytems

S4: Hypothalamic Tanycytes: the metabolic brain and adult neurogenesis - Monday 10th April, 13:00 - 14:40
Sponsored by the British Society for Neuroendocrinology

S36: Early life stress: consequences for neurodevelopment and behaviour - Thursday 13th April, 9:00 - 10:40
Sponsored by the British Society for Neuroendocrinology

Psychiatry and mental health

S8: Treating anxiety – the role of benzodiazepines and beyond - Monday 10th April, 16:20 - 18:00
Sponsored by Society for Neuroscience, London Chapter

S13: Young peoples mental health: uniting the sciences to find answers - Tuesday 11th April, 9:00 - 10:40
Sponsored by MQ: Transforming Mental Health

S35: What the brain tells us about the mind: lessons from neuropsychiatry - Thursday 13th April, 9:00 - 10:40
Sponsored by the British NeuroPsychiatry Association

Methods and techniques

S26: Why Neuroinformatics and Computational Modelling matters for Neuroscience - Wednesday 12th April, 13:20 - 15:00

Other (e.g. history, education, outreach)

Posters can be submitted under this theme. 

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Talk abstracts

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List of chairs and speakers

  • John Aggleton
  • Ivan Alvarez
  • Antonis Asiminas
  • Chris Bailey
  • Alexis Bailey
  • Tim Bates
  • David Belin
  • Kinga Bercsenyi
  • Adrian Bird
  • Jennifer Bizley
  • Katie Blakemore
  • Matei Bolborea
  • Paula Brunton
  • Nichola Brydges
  • Denis Burdakov
  • Karen Campbell
  • Luca Carnevali
  • Bhismadev Chakrabarti
  • Lisa Chakrabarti
  • Stella Chan
  • Charles Chavkin
  • Kei Cho
  • Claudia Clopath
  • Becky Conway-Campbell
  • Carlos Crestani
  • Mark Cunningham
  • Rafal Czajkowski
  • Jeff Dalley
  • Andrea Danese
  • Gerry Dawson
  • Nazanin Derakhshan
  • Sophie Dix
  • Oliver Dolly
  • Ana Domingos
  • Mandy Drake
  • Karen Duff
  • Robin Dunbar
  • Fergus Earley
  • Michael Emmerson
  • Michael Fanselow
  • Carrie Ferrario
  • Craig Ferris
  • Helen Fisher
  • Joseph Galea
  • Sarah Garfinkel
  • Douglas Garrett
  • Sandrine Geranton
  • Gary Gilmour
  • Vivette Glover
  • Diego Gomez-Nicola
  • Usha Goswami
  • Penny Gowland
  • Rita Guerreiro
  • Antonia Hamilton
  • Anjannette Harris
  • Marloes Henckens
  • David Henshall
  • Cyril Herry
  • Lindy Holden-Dye
  • Megan Holmes
  • Paul Howard-Jones
  • Masud Husain
  • Michael Hutton
  • Giandomenico Iannetti
  • Ronaldo Ichiyama
  • Sarosh Irani
  • Anthony Isles
  • Rachael Jack
  • Anna Janssen
  • Kate Jeffery
  • Heidi Johansen-Berg
  • Mark Johnson
  • Roland Jones
  • David Jones
  • Jasmina Jovanovic
  • Nikolas Karalis
  • Tara Keck
  • Julian Keil
  • Eamonn Kelly
  • Joung-Hun Kim
  • Sarah King
  • Irene Knuesel
  • James Kolasinski
  • Esa Korpi
  • Zoe Kourtzi
  • Dimitri Kullmann
  • Charlotte Lawrenson
  • Jo Lewis
  • David Linden
  • Brigit Liss
  • Katie Lunnon
  • Christian Madry
  • Silvia Marino
  • David Maxwell
  • Ciara McCabe
  • Barry McColl
  • James McCutcheon
  • Gr‡inne McNamara
  • Jack Mellor
  • Emilio Merlo-Pich
  • Daniel Michaelson
  • Martine Migaud
  • Veronique Miron
  • Anna Mitchell
  • Paula Moran
  • Nils Muhlert
  • Chris Murgatroyd
  • Yoko Nagai
  • Andrew Nelson
  • Dianne Newbury
  • Anna Christina Nobre
  • Uta Noppeney
  • Rebecca Oakey
  • Ilona Obara
  • Vincent O'Connor
  • Thomas Oertner
  • Siobhan O'Mahony
  • Swidbert Ott
  • Zahid Padamsey
  • Silvia Paracchini
  • Carmine Pariante
  • Monica Perez
  • Hugh Perry
  • Paul Pilowski
  • Marysia Placzek
  • Guy Poppy
  • Ratko Radakovic
  • Trevor Robbins
  • Edwin Robertson
  • Tania Roth
  • Michael Rowan
  • David Rowitch
  • Alireza Salami
  • Paolo Salomoni
  • Louise Serpell
  • Caroline Sevoz-Couche
  • Mark Sheffield
  • Angus Silver
  • Sanjay Sisodiya
  • Leslie Smith
  • Demetris Soteropoulos
  • Karen Spencer
  • Charlotte Stagg
  • Paul Sternberg
  • Reinhard Stoger
  • Sana Suri
  • Michael Thomas
  • George Tofaris
  • Kamen  Tsvetanov
  • Lorraine Tyler
  • Stamatina Tzanoulinou
  • Jim van Os
  • Mariana Vargas-Caballero
  • Sonja Vernes
  • Anthony Vernon
  • Tim Vogels
  • Kirill Volynski
  • Valerie Voon
  • Sheena Waters
  • Magdalena Weidner
  • Garry Whitehead
  • Sandrine Willaime-Morawek
  • Gavin Woodhall
  • Geraldine Wright
  • Adam Zeman

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Early-career events

We realise that the Festival provides a valuable opportunity for students and early-career researchers and clinicians. A host of features have therefore been tailored specifically with you in mind!

  • Heavily subsidised student registration fee
  • 750 poster presentation slots
  • Bursaries for presenting authors
  • Selected poster submissions highlighted in a rapid-fire oral session (3 minute talks) - sponsored by MRC
  • Poster prizes for early-career delegates (supported by bio-techne
  • Scientific speed-dating
  • Careers booth in the exhibition area - sponsored by MRC
  • Evening social event 'Eight til Late' run by and for students and early-career researchers - sponsored by Imanova
  • All symposia include at least one up-and-coming scientist amongst the speaker line-up

There is therefore an 'Early-career strand' of events through the Festival:

  • Monday afternoon: Rapid-fire poster talks - sponsored by MRC
    A quick-fire poster talk session, where selected poster abstracts are presented via short, 3 minute talks, giving you the chance to raise awareness of their research and invite people to visit their posters.
    See list of abstracts selected for presentation
  • Tuesday morning: Funding workshop: ‘Getting grants - Advice for young scientists’ - sponsored by MRC
    A workshop in which major funders will present information about current schemes and provide information about better grant writing. The presentations will be followed by a Question and Answer session. Speakers:
    • Kate Adcock - Head of Neuroscience and Mental Health, MRC
    • Giovanna Lalli - Head of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Wellcome Trust
    • Alexandra Spittle - Peer Review Officer, BBSRC Science Delivery Group
    • Marianna D'Arco  - Scheme Manager, Grants, Royal Society
    • Anbalakan Paramasivam - Senior Manager, UK Grants, Royal Society
  • Tuesday lunchtime: Speed-dating for careers in science
    A ‘scientific speed-dating’ session where early-career scientists sign up in advance for a five minute conversation with an established, senior neuroscientist. This arrangement creates a relaxing forum in which questions and answers naturally bounce to and fro.
    (This proved highly popular at the previous Festival; book your place fast! Select 'speed-dating' when registering for the Festival.)
  • Wednesday morning: Beyond Academe
    A workshop for students and early-career researchers looking at alternatives to the academic research career pathway, e.g. working in the pharmaceutical industry, policy, education, acaedmic administration and beyond.
    • Victoria Gill - BBC Science Correspondent
    • Gary Gilmour -  Senior Research Scientist, Eli Lilly
    • Lucy Foss -  Team Manager, Neuroscience and Mental Health, Wellcome Trust
    • Natasha Bray - Associate Editor, Nature Reviews Neuroscience
    • Erica Smyth -  Preclinical scientist, Imanova Ltd
  • Wednesday lunchtime: Speed-dating for alternative careers
    Given the demand for scientific speed-dating at the previous Festival, we have added a second session to the 2017 programme. This second session will include more scientific speed-dating sessions should there need to be an overflow from the first session, as well as the chance for conversations about careers beyond academia – e.g. in industry or policy making – with people working in these areas.
  • Throughout the meeting: Posters 
    Three full poster sessions covering 12 themes and allowing for 750 poster presentations.  All have a separate preview session to allow poster presenters to also see other posters in the same session, and for all delegates to select posters to return to and discuss with the presenting author in more detail.
  • Throughout the meeting: Careers Booth - sponsored by MRC
    A careers booth in the exhibition area, open at any time for students and early-career researchers to get help and find information to further your career

We are very grateful for the support from Imanova and the MRC in the early-career researcher and student events taking place at BNA2017.


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Satellite Symposium

What makes good code? 

Two-hour interactive seminar open to all delegates at BNA2017 Festival of Neuroscience

Poor code is often the weakest link in neuroscience. Do you write scripts as part of your work, and want to improve your code? If so, this seminar is for you. Unlike a "programming" course, we will focus on maximising productivity in a scientific setting. It is ideally suited for people who already have 2-3 years’ experience of writing code. The teaching will be language-agnostic but examples will be drawn from Matlab and Python. In the session we will discuss the factors that contribute to well-written programs, focusing on style, clarity, technique and robustness. As scientific programmers, you will discover how to move from writing a series of one-use scripts, to writing well-planned, transparent, re-usable code.

Topics to be covered will include: Commenting, Formatting, Naming,  Abstraction, Externalisation, Functions and Namespaces, Stack frames, Lambdas and Debugging.


Where:  Executive Room 8, Birmingham ICC

When: Monday 10th April, 11:00 - 13:00  


A sandwich lunch will be provided. Places are free, but will be allocated on a first-come first-serve basis. Please book by emailing with your name and institution. Funded by the Software Sustainablity Institute


Tutor: Dr Sanjay Manohar is an MRC Clinician Scientist at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford. He has taught Good Coding Practice courses at UCL and Oxford, and is a Fellow of the Software Sustainability Institute, an RCUK-funded body aiming to improve software in academia.

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