10th Annual Conference of Cognitive Science concludes at IIT Kanpur  

  • The conference was organized under the aegis of the Association for Cognitive Science (ACS) at the Department of Cognitive Science at IITK


  • ACCS-X was supported by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India


Kanpur : The 10th edition of the 3-day Annual Conference of Cognitive Science (ACCS-X), a seminal event in the cognitive science community of India, concluded at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK). Featuring a galore of intriguing talks and discussions about the workings of the human mind and brain, the Conference was hosted under the aegis of the Association for Cognitive Science (ACS) at the Department of Cognitive Science, IIT Kanpur.


ACCS is a flagship annual conference to showcase diverse research in the various domains of cognitive science in India and abroad. The 10th edition of ACCS, supported by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and guided by the Association of Cognitive Science, brought together a vibrant community of researchers (both students and faculty) in the areas of Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science and Linguistics. The event was attended by faculty from several institutions within the country including IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIT Gandhinagar, IIT Bhubaneshwar, IIIT – Hyderabad, IIIT Delhi, Centre for Behavioural and Cognitive Science, University of Allahabad, University of Hyderabad, National Brain Research Centre, Manesar, Haryana, NIMHANS Bengaluru and IISc Bengaluru, to name a few.


The Conference kicked off with a welcome note by Prof. Ark Verma, convener of the conference, and Prof. Narayanan Srinivasan, Head, Department of Cognitive Science, IITK, followed by the formal inauguration by Prof. S. Ganesh, Director of IIT Kanpur, who said, “From being the first IIT to establish a full-fledged Department of Cognitive Science to hosting the 10th edition of the prestigious Annual Conference of Cognitive Science on campus, which is 2nd time institute is hosting the ACCS conference on campus (ACCS 2 in 2015 being the previous one), reaffirms our vision to propel research and deliberations in the domain. I am sure the discussions and sessions will pave the way forward for transformative new ideas and discourses in Cognitive Science.”


In the first keynote delivered by Prof. Marc Brysbaert from Ghent University, Belgium, the expert focused on what psychologists can learn from engineers on how to approach big problems and improve their research practices. A session dedicated to attention and perception followed, where students from various academic departments across the country presented their work. They employed methods ranging from psychophysical experiments to advanced neuroscientific approaches. This was followed by a poster session where students engaged in thought-provoking discussions with visitors.


The sessions on Learning & Memory, and Language were marked by a series of presentations by participants, each delving into novel research findings in these areas.


Dr. Abhay Karandikar, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology (DST), and former director, IIT Kanpur; and Prof. Harish Karnick, Honorary Professor, Department of Cognitive Science, IIT Kanpur, who was instrumental in the development of Cognitive Science in IITK, offered insightful addresses. While Prof. Karnick offered the audience a panoramic view of cognitive science’s evolution in India, touching upon crucial aspects such as funding, industry collaborations, and the establishment of research facilities; Dr. Karandikar reiterated the commitment of the DST towards supporting Cognitive Science in India. He highlighted DST’s flagship initiative known as the DST – Cognitive Science Research Initiative (DST – CSRI) to propel research and innovation in the field of Cognitive Science. He urged the research community to be industrious and forge collaborations within and outside academia in order to ensure an all-round development.


Inaugural day’s proceedings culminated with a presentation by the sponsors of the event, Sanki – Tobii showcasing their innovative portable eye-tracking device. This technology, a breakthrough in the field, enables researchers to conduct eye-tracking experiments in real-world settings, liberating them from the confines of laboratory environments.


The second day of ACCS-X delved into the intricate relationship between emotions and cognition through insightful student presentations. Two sessions centered on cognitive disorders and intervention strategies offered a thorough exploration of disorders and discussed potential interventions, providing hope and direction for those affected.


Prof. Mark Elliot from the University of Galway gave a keynote address on human visual apperceptive space, steeping in phenomenological research, and offering a unique perspective on understanding the constants in human visual perception.


The keynote address by Prof. Sridharan Devarajan of Centre for NeuroScience (CNC), IISc Bengaluru centered on dissecting the concept of attention, aimed to unravel its fundamental components. This exploration into the minutiae of attention was both enlightening and thought-provoking.


The third day of ACCS-X hosted discussions on cognitive control, featuring researchers from across the country presenting their work and engaging in stimulating dialogues with attendees. In the last keynote of the conference, Prof. Anindita Bhadra from IISER Kolkata offered fascinating insights into the symbiotic relationship between humans and canines, based on research from her Dog Lab. The session offered a fresh perspective on interspecies relationships and their cognitive foundations. Subsequently, a student-led session on social cognition showcased diverse methodologies exploring the intricacies of this captivating and challenging field.


The last talk session of ACCS, themed around creativity and aesthetics, offered deep dives into the realms of creativity, with researchers from various institutes presenting their work and engaging the audience with their insightful findings and responses.


The Valedictory Session had awards for the Best Oral Presentation and the Best Poster Presentation, constituted in the memory of the Late. Professor V S Chandrashekhar Pammi, former Professor of Cognitive Science at Centre for Behavioural and Cognitive Science, University of Allahabad, being presented by Prof. Surampadi Bapi Raju, IIIT – Hyderabad who had also been the PhD supervisor of the Late. Prof. Pammi.


Prof. Ark Verma in his address thanked the students and colleagues from the Department of Cognitive Science, IIT Kanpur administration and the sponsors comprising DST, Govt. of India, Aerobe Medicare and Sankii – Tobii.