The big one – Quo vadis Neuroscience?

Alright everybody, this is it. This is what we have all been waiting for. This is the big one.

The Italian Academy presents...

If you are a Neuroscientist, have a pulse and are within 100 miles of New York City, this is where you want to be on Friday: The Italian Academy at Columbia University. The Italian Academy has done impressive Neuroscience events in years past, but I simply do not understand how they managed to get all these big names this time around. The roster of speakers is excellent without exception, one talk seems more promising than the next. The topic itself is – well – extremely topical. One of the most urgent questions that our field faces is how to use all the new and exciting (as well as the somewhat old but no less exciting) methods to address (and hopefully answer) suitable theoretical questions. Historically, Neuroscience is an extremely methods-driven field. Theory tends to follow (if it ever does, that is). Thus, in a way, the outcome of this issue – the proper use of the many available techniques and methods – will shape our field for many years to come. The stakes could not be higher, neither could the quality of the lined up talks.

To some, this might sound like gushing. It is not. I am actually actively trying to avoid getting too excited. In any case, I will be there. Friday, 8:45 am. You should consider it, too. Of course, life happens. So in case that you can’t make it (or live outside of the 100 mile radius), I will be reporting from the event. Therefore: Watch this space.

In case you are able to come, here is the schedule (as you can see from the flier, RVSP is preferred, but from my understanding, there will be overflow seating, which will likely be necessary, so try to come early):

Neurotechniques: New Approaches to Understanding Mind, Brain and Behavior, Dec 3, 2010

8:45-9:00 — Opening remarks: David Freedberg

Moderator: Vince Ferrera

9:00-9:40 — Michael Goldberg: What a single electrode can tell a neuroscientist about the brain: insights into the problem of spatial accuracy

9:40-9:50 — Discussion

9:50-10:20 — Elizabeth Hillmann: Understanding neurovascular coupling with intravital microscopy and optical imaging

10:20-10:30 — Discussion

10:30-11:00 — Aniruddha Das: Simultaneous measurements of spikes and hemodynamics in alert subjects: What can brain imaging tell us about neural activity?

11:00-11:10 — Discussion

11:10-11:20 — Coffee

11:20-11:50 — Adam Kohn: Measuring signal propagation in the visual system with multi-electrode recordings

11:50-12:00 — Discussion

12:00-12:55 — John Maunsell: Using multi-electrode recordings to construct a neuronal population measure of attention

12:55-1:00 — Discussion

1:00-1:15 — General Discussion

1:15-2:15 — Lunch

Moderator: Franco Pestilli

2:15-3:10 — David Heeger: Computational Neuroimaging

3:10-3:20 — Discussion

3:20-3:50 — Uri Hasson: Reliability of cortical activity during natural stimulation

3:50-4:00 — Discussion

4:00-4:30 — Frank Tong: Decoding visual and mental states from human brain activity

4:30-4:40 — Discussion

4:40-4:50 — Coffee

4:50-5:20 — Winrich Freiwald: Understanding cortical networks by integrating fMRI and electrophysiology

5:20-5:30 — Discussion

5:30-6:25 — Karl Deisseroth

6:25-6:35 — Discussion

6:35-7:00 — General Discussion and Closing Remarks by David Freedberg

7:00-7:45 — Closing reception (open to the public)

7:45 — Dinner for  speakers, editors, moderators and organizers

The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America


1161 Amsterdam Avenue (between 116th and 118th Streets)

New York, NY 10027   USA

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