INS SIGs – Special Interest Groups




Question: What is the purpose of the Special Interest Groups established by the INS?
Answer: SIGs may be established to facilitate the formation of research, clinical, and training specialties of an intra- or cross-disciplinary nature and to increase the exchange of knowledge within research arenas of special interest, and for other reasons in keeping with achieving the mission of the INS. The purpose of the SIGs is to: advance knowledge about an area of interest; encourage scholarly inquiry related to research, training, or clinical practice; and encourage international research or clinical collaborations, networking, and/or promote the use of research to improve the area of interest and public good.

Question: What is the governance structure supporting the SIGs?
Answer: The formation and professional conduct of SIGs falls within the purview of the INS Science Committee. The INS Science Committee has been formed to facilitate and promote neuropsychological science internationally in keeping with the mission of the INS, including fostering international research collaborations and the training of the next generation of neuropsychological scientists. The Science Committee appoints one member to serve as the SIG Liaison. This person is tasked with interfacing with the various SIGs and INS administration. All SIG Chairs report to the INS-SIG Liaison who reports to the Science Committee.

Question: What is the process of forming a SIG?
Answer: SIGs represent the coming together of a group of people with shared interests. These shared interests can be related to methodology or a content area. If you are interested in forming a SIG, please email the completed INS-SIG application form to INSScientificCommittee@gmail.com. Two members of the INS Science Committee will independently review the form using the rating form available here. All INS-SIGs must have a non-US/Canada co-chair and have at least 20 members to start the SIG. Once approved by the INS Science Committee, the application is forwarded to the INS Board of Directors, who provide the final authorization for the respective SIG. At the time of approval, the SIG Liaison will provide the SIG Co-Chairs with an official INS email address for members and a separate one for the SIG leaders. All SIGs are encouraged to use official INS addresses for communications with its members.

Question: Who can be a member of the INS-SIGs?
Answer: You must be an INS member to join any of the INS-SIGs. All INS members, across categories, can join a SIG. Students and trainees are encouraged to join a SIG. There is no additional fee for joining any of the INS-SIGs.

Question: What are the various positions a SIG must create?
Answer: Each SIG needs to have a minimum of two SIG chairs, at least one from a country not including United States or Canada. SIGs are allowed to have a third co-chair if desired. The SIGs are encouraged to maintain a diverse governing board/committee and membership. Each SIG may create internal positions at their own discretion, but these must be reported to the Science Committee, including changes to SIG leadership. The SIG Chairs will provide description of each position within their SIG to the INS-SIG Liaison.

Question: What is the election procedure for the leadership positions at SIGs?
Answer: Upon creation of a SIG, the first term of the SIG Chairs is self-appointed. The SIGs will have an election within three years of the creation of a SIG. The SIG Chairs will be elected by the membership at large. The SIG Chairs must get final approval from the INS Board of Governors. The SIG Chairs will remain in the position up to three years, with a potential to be re-elected. The SIG Chairs total term may not exceed six years. SIG Chairs may choose to step down, at which point an election to identify a replacement must be held. Repeated short interval SIG Chair terms are discouraged.

Moreover, the SIG needs to have a pre-defined approach to election, managing a tie, and other issues that may arise in the election. If an election is contested, it will be presented to the SIG Liaison who will present it to the Science Committee. The SIG Chairs shall be responsible for the conduct of elections. The SIG Chairs shall prepare a ballot including all duly nominated candidates and shall transmit the ballot to each Member of the SIG. The non-US/Canada candidate with the most votes will be selected as the non-North American SIG Chair. The American/Canadian or non-US/Canada candidate with the most votes will be selected as the 2nd Chair. If there are no non-US/Canadian candidates, a North American candidate may be appointed temporary SIG Chair until a non-US/Canada chair can be appointed. Vacancy cannot exceed a six month-period. It is acceptable for a SIG to have two non-US/Canada Co-Chairs.

Question: Can the SIGs have their own social media accounts?
Answer: The SIGs will not have independent social media accounts. Each SIG may nominate a SIG Communications Chair who can either be nominated by the SIG Chairs or elected during general elections of the SIG. The Communications Chair will be in close contact with the SIG Liaison and INS Social Media Chair/Co-Chairs. They can be contacted through social@the-ins.org. Specific SIG information will be posted to social media by the social media team.

Question: Can the SIGs collect their own membership fees?
Answer: Donations or contributions are at the SIG’s discretion; however, no membership fees are to be required. The budget for the SIG will be submitted to the Science Committee for the annual Board of Directors’ meeting. All funds collected belong to the INS and will be processed through the INS Office. Plans for collecting funds should be discussed with the Science Committee and INS Executive Director prior to initiation.

Question: Can the SIGs publish manuscripts, opinion pieces, or create and publish other documents on behalf of INS?
Answer: INS welcomes members of various SIGs to collaborate in service of scholarly publications. Please include the following disclaimer for scholarly publications resulting from collaborations among SIG members:

“The content described in this publication is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the International Neuropsychological Society or all XXX Special Interest Group members”

Question: What are some of the reasons a SIG may be dissolved?
Answer: A SIG may be dissolved by the Science Committee for not fulfilling the purposes of the SIGs. We encourage SIGs to maintain a minimum of 20 SIG members to remain active. It is allowable to include up to five, or fewer, inactive members in that count. Action to dissolve a SIG shall require approval from the Board of Directors.

Question: Can SIG membership be terminated?
Answer: Yes. SIG membership, upon review by the INS Science Committee and Board of Directors, may be terminated if an individual is found to be in violation of the INS Code of Conduct. Examples include claims of inappropriate conduct, like psychological bullying, physical intimidation or aggression, or harassment, including sexual harassment.

Are you looking for a way to connect with other INS members who share an interest in a specialized area of neuropsychology? Do you look forward to discussing professional issues, recent research, or the future of our field with others? Then hold on to your hat, because we have news for you!
The call for INS Special Interest Groups (SIGs) is finally here! Click here to review the call for applications. The fillable-PDF form for creating a new SIG is available here. Because initial space is limited, the Scientific Committee will be reviewing each application using the rating form available here. Additional questions can be emailed to INSScientificCommittee@gmail.com.
INS special interest groups (SIGs) provide a forum for INS members with common interests to come together during INS meetings, for the purpose of sharing recent research, discussing professional issues, and interacting informally. SIG members also engage in various activities between meetings (e.g., list serves, newsletters). Currently, there are nine SIGs: Brain Injury, Cultural, Dementia, Epilepsy, NeuroCovid, Oncology, Social Cognition, Emotion & Communication, Sports Neuropsychology, and Teleneuropsychology. Included below are descriptions of each SIG and who to contact if interested! All INS members, including student and trainee members, are welcome to join a SIG. We look forward to hearing from you and meeting you in Denver 2020 or on our FB page INS Special Interest Groups!
If you would like to join an existing SIG, keep reading…

The Brain Injury (BI) SIG focuses on neurological insults across the lifespan. The BI SIG allows individuals interested in brain injury to share unique research methods and clinical practices. For this SIG, brain injury is defined broadly to include both traumatic and acquired forms of brain injury (e.g., stroke, anoxic injury) in both children and adults to allow a large number of clinicians and researchers, with an interest in brain injury, to connect and collaborate. Our ultimate goal is to increase collaboration among members involved in brain injury clinical services and research, and to increase the profile of brain injury at INS meetings. In the future, we hope to create subgroups (e.g., concussion, moderate-severe TBI, pediatric brain injury, stroke, etc.) within the larger SIG to better accommodate subspecialties. Our membership is diverse as it includes members from around the world with different backgrounds, career levels, ethnicities, and those with/without disabilities. If you are interested in joining us, please email co-chairs Lena Dobson, Ph.D., (Dobson@scandicneuro.com), Christine Koterba, Ph.D., (Christine.Koterba@nationwidechildrens.org), and Nicholas Ryan, Ph.D., (nicholas.ryan@mcri.edu.au).


The Cultural SIG has a primary purpose of elevating the quality of, and accelerating progress in, research on cultural neuropsychology. We have approximately 40 active members to date, which consists of an international and interdisciplinary network of scientists and trainees whose scientific interest is the role of sociocultural factors (e.g., race, ethnicity, language, acculturation, literacy, socioeconomic status, and educational experience) on cognitive functions across the lifespan. There are currently six workgroups that are addressing the following topics: (1) Identifying high priority research areas in cultural neuropsychology, (2) Developing international guidelines for test construction and adaptation, (3) Developing guidelines in collaboration with journal editors and editorial review boards to ensure issues of inclusion and diversity for manuscripts and funding, (4) Identifying mechanisms and funding opportunities for cultural neuropsychology research, (5) Creating a glossary of cultural terminology that can be used as a resource at the domestic and international level, (6) Developing novel continuing education topics for INS programming. Please contact co-chairs Luis Medina, Ph.D., (ldmedin4@central.uh.edu), and Matthew Staios, Ph.D., (staios.mathew@gmail.com) if interested in joining.

The Dementia SIG was founded to promote scholarly conversations around research, practice, and education as it pertains to the dementias. Issues of interest include, but are not limited to, etiology, clinical presentation and diagnosis, biomarkers, prognosis, incidence, prevalence, prevention, treatment, public policy, and care. The Dementia SIG, while being primarily research-oriented, will also foster perspectives that focus on patient care, policy, and training.

For more information, please contact co-chairs Adam Brickman, Ph.D., and Yen Ying Lim, Ph.D., at dementiasig@the-ins.org.



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Christopher Benjamin, Ph.D.
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Seth Margolis, Ph.D.
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Urvashi Shah, Ph.D.
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Alena Stasenko, Ph.D.

The Epilepsy SIG is focused on the science and practice of epilepsy. This, of course, has implications for advocacy and policy, but the primary focus is to foster clinical and research collaborations.

For more information, please contact co-chairs:
 Seth Margolis, Ph.D., seth.margolis@lifespan.org,
 Christopher Benjamin, Ph.D., christopher.benjamin@yale.edu,
 Urvashi Shah, Ph.D., shahurvashi100@gmail.com,
 Alena Stasenko, Ph.D., (student/trainee representative) astasenk@ucsd.edu



NeuroCOVID-19 SIG

An increasing number of reports indicate that COVID-19 may be associated with neurocognitive symptoms, suggesting that rigorously conducted studies in COVID-19 patients are needed. The global aspect of the pandemic requires a global response in terms of cross-cultural validity of testing protocols with equal access to neurological care in mind. Of course, the socio-economic and health consequences of the infection require primary consideration, so that any neuroCOVID-19 investigations are perceived as an added necessity rather than an added burden in already maximally stretched healthcare systems.

The NeuroCOVID-19 SIG aims to create a platform for sharing and constructively reviewing testing protocols/methods. It is hoped that this process will lead to a publication with recommendations for the recently recovered phase (internet-based cognitive/smell screening tool) and the long-term recovered phase (comprehensive cognitive/smell testing with online and face-to-face testing) in patients with symptomatic disease and ideally control samples of patients with asymptomatic disease. The SIG also aims to develop a set of recommended questionnaires assessing demographics, pre-morbid abilities, medical, psychological health, social support, and stigma. We expect that a standard approach to NeuroCOVID-19 will assist in determining accurate prevalence, incidence and severity of the potential disease whether as a direct or indirect effect of COVID-19.

Further, studies in which SIG members are involved are being initiated in several countries. These studies will provide an opportunity to determine and share best ethics and research practice. We expect that the neuroCOVID-19 SIG will represent a network of exchange for neuropsychologists worldwide and a major platform for reaching other disciplines. This SIG will use a collaborative approach led by neuropsychologists who have experience with infectious disease-related brain damage (e.g., HIV, HCV, malaria, Tuberculosis). Efforts will be made to connect with other relevant INS SIG (i.e., Cross-cultural; Clinical Research Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Social media, Student liaison committee, Global engagement). New members are welcome. Please email co-chairs Lucette Cysique, Ph.D., (lcysique@unsw.edu.au), Emilia Łojek, Ph.D., (emilia@psych.uw.edu.pl), and Bernice Marcopulos, Ph.D. (marcopba@jmu.edu).


The Oncology SIG focuses on the integration of neuropsychology and cancer, and has goals in multiple domains. The research mission of the Oncology SIG is to advance our understanding of the impact of cancer and cancer treatment on cognitive and behavioral functioning. We are working with multiple groups involved in cognitive care for cancer patients, such as the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and the International Cancer and Cognition Task Force (ICCTF) to enhance awareness of neuropsychological research in patients with cancer. In the clinical and program development domains, our goal is to foster the integration of neuropsychology into the clinical care of patients with brain tumors and other cancers. We are also working to increase educational opportunities for neuropsychologists in the domain of cognition and cancer. We welcome INS members at any level of training to participate in our meetings and on our listserve. Please contact co-chairs  Michael W. Parsons Ph.D., (Mwparsons@mgh.harvard.edu), Lisa Jacobson Ph.D., (jacobson@kennedykrieger.org), and Michele Sadeh Ph.D., (michelle.sadeh@gmail.com) for more information.

The Social Cognition, Emotion and Communication (SEC) SIG is set up to engage like-minds from every discipline who are interested in how the brain processes social cognition, emotion and communication. We want to join forces to better understood theoretical mechanisms, to develop clinical assessments and to research new interventions for people with brain disorders. These matters are deeply social and so culturally constrained. We therefore need cross-cultural dialogue and cooperation to make real progress. The SIG has a google group called INS-SIG-SEC. Everyone interested in these broad goals are warmly invited to join us. Please contact co-chairs Skye McDonald, Ph.D., (s.mcdonald@unsw.edu.au), and Lyn Turkstra, Ph.D., (turkstrl@mcmaster.ca) for more information.

Sports Neuropsychology SIG is setup to connect with colleagues around the mutual goals of INS and the Sports Neuropsychology Society to increase international outreach in clinical practice and research to promote the welfare of athletes. Please contact co-chairs Donna Broshek, Ph.D., (broshek@virginia.edu), and Gerhard Müller, Ph.D., (Gerhard.Mueller@neuropsychologie.de) for more information.

TeleNeuropsychology SIG will provide a forum to discuss the latest advances in the science and clinical practice of teleneuropsychology. Special emphasis will be placed on recent developments of teleneuropsychology and/or remote cognitive assessment and rehabilitation in diverse, multicultural and international contexts. The SIG will also foster collaborations among its members and will provide guidance to improve training in teleneuropsychology. Please reach out to co-chairs Yakeel Quiroz: yquiroz@mgh.harvard.edu, Unai Diaz-Orueta, PhD: unai.diazorueta@mu.ie, and Lucia Crivelli, PhD: lcrivelli@fleni.org.ar for more information.

We hope to grow our SIG community to include as many specialties as possible.
Sincere regards,
Ruchika Prakash

Ruchika Prakash, Ph.D.
SIG Liaison
International Neuropsychological Society