Catch up on CNS2024: Sleep, Consciousness and Cognition

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On April 5th 2024, we welcomed more than 240 delegates to Queens’ College for our annual meeting.

This year, we focused on Sleep, Consciousness and Cognition. CNS2024 was interdisciplinary and far reaching in its breadth. From investigating the nature and function of consciousness in humans, animals and artificial intelligence to the interplay between sleep abnormalities and neurodegeneration; from how core brain networks organise thought and behaviour to the understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying altered states of consciousness; from how the brain makes predictions about the world to how placing physical constraints on an artificially-intelligent system allows it to develop features of the brains of complex organisms in order to solve tasks.

Co-Director of Cambridge Neuroscience, Professor Ewan St John Smith opened the meeting and welcomed all our delegates to the beautiful Queens’ College. In all, we had 16 talks; including two plenaries from the fabulous Professors Athena Demertzi and Anil Seth, 10 data blitz presentations from Early Career Researchers, speakers from 7 different departments.

The programme also included a short introduction to the CamBRAIN society on the occasion of its tenth birthday. PhD student and CamBRAIN President Ailie McWhinnie captured the highlights of the last ten years of the society and presented a gift to CamBRAIN’s founding president Dr Deniz Vatansever, who was a visiting speaker at CNS2024 and who is now based at Fudan University. Deniz commented that “CamBRAIN is not just about academic talks and workshops, but about building connections and sharing experiences that transcend disciplines and backgrounds. We’ve cultivated an inclusive environment where everyone’s voice is heard and valued”. Ailie added that “we are lucky to have such an engaged and active community here – feeling part of something bigger is really important to stay motivated. As I get closer to the end of my PhD I feel more prepared for the next steps thanks to all the connections and experiences I’ve had through CamBRAIN. I encourage everyone to get involved!”. You can find out more about CamBRAIN here.


The annual meeting is always a cause for celebration, getting together; renewing friendships, connections and igniting collaborations. The day ended with lots of laughter, drinks in a reception in the Old Kitchens of Queens’ College and a conference dinner in the beautiful Old Hall. After a few words of thanks from Cambridge Neuroscience Co-Director Professor Paul Fletcher, Professor David Menon said a few words about the history, research and legacy of consciousness research at Cambridge – the day was a triumph!


Congratulations to our three poster prize winners – Claudia Pascovich (Bekinschtein Lab), Dr Matthieu Koroma  (Demertzi Lab) and Charlotte Rye (Milton Lab). Poster prize certificates and prizes of £150 each were awarded by head judge Professor Thóra Káradóttir. The standard was exceptionally high and our team of 6 judges led by Thóra (Dr Annemieke Apergis-Schoute, Craig Brierley, Dr Tristan Bekinschtein, Dr Ed Harding, Dr Andrea Luppi) had a difficult task!

Thank you to our speakers, volunteers, data blitzers, chairs, poster judges, suppliers, Queens’ College and to all our delegates for attending.

We are grateful to all our sponsors for supporting us – we would not be able to run these events without your support.

Catch up – You can view photos of the day here, view the brochure and you will be able to watch some of the talks on our YouTube channel soon.

CNS2024 Photos

CNS2024 Brochure

Posted on 23/04/2024