Picture credit:
Wellcome Images
Bill Sanderson 1997

British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience

History of the Association

The inaugural meeting of what was to become the British Psychophysiology Society (BPPS) took place in December 1973, at Imperial College London. The group of about 60 scientists was then called the ‘Psychophysiology Group’ of the British Psychological Society (BPS), under the chairmanship of Peter Venables (University of York). The first official Psychophysiology Newsletter was circulated in 1974, edited by David Siddle (University of Southampton). Tony Gale and Margaret Christie made important contributions to the early development of the Psychophysiology Group. In subsequent years, the group consolidated its membership and went on to become an active and successful society. The contribution of researchers from the from the Burden Neurological Institute in Bristol (Cheyne McCallum, Demetrios Papakostopoulos, Ray Cooper, Stuart Butler) was instrumental for the development of psychophysiology into a major UK neuroscience discipline. Close links with the EEG Society led to the first joint meeting at the Burden Neurological Institute in June 1983.

The stated aims of the original ‘Psychophysiology Group’ were:

  1. To establish a forum for workers in the field of psychophysiology.
  2. To organize regular scientific meetings.
  3. To publish a newsletter.
  4. To suggest standards of techniques for data acquisition.
  5. To organise short residential courses for training in psychophysiological techniques.
  6. To aid the teaching of psychophysiological techniques in universities.
  7. To establish liaison between the Psychophysiology Group and other learned societies, such as the other sections of the BPS, the Society for Psychophysiological Research, the Brain Research Association and the Experimental Psychology Society.

In the years of its existence the members of the BPPS achieved all of those aims and psychophysiological techniques and methods are now firmly established in modern cognitive neuroscience in the UK and worldwide.

In 2005 BPPS changed its name to ‘British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience’ (BACN) to reflect the changing nature of the discipline.

The list of past presidents of BPPS/BACN includes:

  • Torsten Baldeweg
  • Peter Venables
  • Irene Martin
  • David Siddle
  • Tony Gale
  • Gudrun Sartory
  • Graham Turpin
  • Geoff Barrett
  • John Gruzelier
  • John Hinton
  • Gina Rippon
  • Adrian Burgess

Honorary members of BPPS/BACN are:

  • Peter Venables
  • Irene Martin
  • Alan Glass
  • Kees Brunia
  • Geoff Barrett