PhD Symposium – Gaming meets Neuroscience

The Bernstein PhD Symposium is an opportunity for junior researchers to meet their peers, share their experiences and make new connections. We strive for an inclusive and informal environment that fosters discussions and allows for an open exchange of ideas.



Friday, Sep 24, 2021
13:45 – 19:40 CEST




Anastasia Brovkin | Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany
Narges Chinichian
| TU Berlin, Germany
Marina Kapitonova | University Hospital Freiburg, Germany
Anh Nguyen
Biraj Pandey | University of Washington, USA
Robert Scholz | Max-Planck-School of Cognition, Germany


The participation for the PhD Symposium will be free of charge, but you will still need to register. The registration is now open.

Please note: this year there are two separate registrations for the Bernstein Conference 2021 and the PhD Symposium.

Program (CEST)




Unconference I
(parallel sessions)

– Building a Brand (Promotion, Twitter, Websites, Collaborations)
– Managing your Supervisors
– Bringing Disciplines together

Or come up with your own topic!


15 min break


Unconference II
(parallel sessions)

– Automate your life & Productivity
– Show me the money (Salary, Grants & Stuff)
– Gamification in action (test play & share some games)

Again own topic suggestions are welcome.


20 min break


Talk 1
Alex Wade


20 min break


Talk 2
Celia Hodent


Talk 3
Mike Ambinder


Surprise Session


Alex Wade
Alex is a Professor in the University’s Department of Psychology with research interests in the neuroscience of vision, neuro-imaging and visual cognition in health and disease. He also conducts research into the psychology of gaming and explores how a better understanding of avatar identities and behaviours can be harnessed to increase individual and social wellbeing.

Celia Hodent
Celia is an expert in game user experience (UX) & applied cognitive science, also holding a PhD in Psychology (Sorbonne/Paris, Topic: “language-specific effects on number computation in toddlers”). Before becoming an independent consultant, she worked with Ubisoft, LucasArts and Epic Games (Fortnite) & has already written two books on “The Gamer’s Brain” and “The Psychology of Video Games”.

Mike Ambinder
Mike works at Valve as (principal) experimental psychologist on games such as Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead and Portal 2. Furthermore in his spare time he is an Assistant Professor (Focus: UX/HCI/video games) at University of Washington.