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Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind (part two)
October 2013
by Jeffrey Bouley  |  Email the author
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(To return to part one of this coverage, click here)
 
Special Lectures
 
 
Theme A: Development
 
Adjusting Brain Circuits for Learning and Memory
Pico Caroni, Ph.D., Sunday, Nov. 10, 8:30 a.m. to 9:40 a.m.
Brain systems face ever-changing demands for learning and memory throughout life. This lecture will cover how system plasticity is adjusted flexibly to specific behavioral demands, how its regulation in juveniles and adults involves related circuit mechanisms and how the plasticity can be harnessed for cognitive enhancement.
 
Plasticity in the Adult Brain: Neurogenesis and Neuroepigenetics
Hongjun Song, Ph.D., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 1 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.
Adult mammalian brains exhibit much more plasticity and regenerative capacity than previously thought, including generation of functionally integrated new neurons via adult neurogenesis. This lecture summarizes recent work on understanding basic properties of adult neural stem cells and molecular, cellular and circuitry mechanisms regulating the sequential adult neurogenesis process in vivo. Neuroepigenetics, particularly novel active DNA modifications in the nervous system, also will be highlighted.
 
Theme B: Neural Excitability, Synapses and Glia: Cellular Mechanisms
 
Age-Dependent Responses of Synapse Structure to Hippocampal Plasticity
Kristen M. Harris, Ph.D., Sunday, Nov. 10, 11:30 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. This special lecture will discuss regulation of spines, synapses and subcellular components (polyribosomes, SER and endosomes) by plasticity during maturation.
 
Glioma: A Neurocentric Look at Cancer
Harald Sontheimer, Ph.D., Wednesday, Nov. 13, 10 a.m. to 11:10 a.m.
Glioma research has traditionally been inspired by oncology, largely ignoring the tumor's unique interactions with the brain. This lecture challenges us to take a more neurocentric viewpoint: many of the hallmarks of the disease, including vascular dysregulation, edema, gliosis and progressive neuronal cell death by glutamate excitotoxicity, readily define gliomas as a neurodegenerative disease.
 
Theme C: Disorders of the Nervous System
 
Blood-Brain Barrier and Neurodegeneration
Berislav V. Zlokovic, M.D., Ph.D., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 8:30 a.m. to 9:40 a.m.
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) prevents entry of toxic blood products into the CNS, and the BBB is damaged in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Yet, the role of BBB in the pathogenesis of these disorders is not yet fully appreciated. This lecture will discuss the BBB mechanisms causing neurodegeneration including astrocyte-pericyte-endothelial faulty signal transduction, effects of AD-associated genes on BBB integrity (APOE4, CLU, PICALM) and effects of capillary microbleeds.
 
Neurocircuitry of Addiction: A Stress Surfeit Disorder
George F. Koob, Ph.D., Wednesday, Nov. 13, 11:30 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.
A key component of the pathophysiology of addiction is negative reinforcement set up by negative emotional states hypothesized to derive from dysregulation of key neurochemical elements involved in the brain stress systems within the frontal cortex, ventral striatum and extended amygdala. Compelling evidence exists to argue that the brain stress systems play a key role in engaging the transition to addiction and maintaining dependence once initiated.
 
Theme D: Sensory and Motor Systems
 
Putting Sensory Back into Voluntary Control
Stephen H. Scott, Ph.D., Monday, Nov. 11, 8:30 a.m. to 9:40 a.m.
Optimal feedback control can explain many features of biological movement, such as success with variability, motor synergies and goal-directed behavior. The lecture will describe the use of optimal control to interpret motor performance, highlighting the importance of sensory feedback in this process, and it will also describe how corrective responses to small visual or mechanical perturbations under a broad range of behavioral contexts provide an important window to probe voluntary control and its neural basis.
 
Sensory Processing in Drosophila: Synapses, Circuits and Computations
Rachel I. Wilson, Ph.D., Monday, Nov. 11, 11:30 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.
Many of the basic computations involved in sensory processing are shared across sensory modalities and species. Understanding sensory processing requires identifying these canonical computations, why they might be useful to the organism and how they are implemented at the level of cells, synapses and circuits. The lecture will discuss recent work investigating these problems in the fly Drosophila melanogaster, using in-vivo whole-cell recordings from genetically identified neurons.
 
Theme E: Integrative Systems: Neuroendocrinology, Neuroimmunology and Homeostatic Challenge
 
Interacting Influence of Sleep and Circadian Clocks on Human Physiology and Cognitive Performance
Charles A. Czeisler, M.D., Ph.D., Saturday, Nov. 9, 2 p.m. to 3:10 p.m.
Mammalian circadian clocks regulate the timing and duration of sleep. In humans, sleep and circadian clocks interact to affect many aspects of both physiology (including endocrine, metabolic, cardiovascular, immune and respiratory physiology) and behavior (including activity, alertness, performance, mood, vigilance, attention and eating). As a consequence, the interaction of sleep and circadian clocks has major implications for not only health and disease but also safety and productivity.
 
Transgenerational Epigenetics: Programming Behavior in a Dynamic Landscape
Tracy L. Bale, Ph.D., Sunday, Nov. 10, 1 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.
The epigenome has become a highly investigated and important area of neuroscience in connecting the environment with changes in neurodevelopment and behaviors. The complexity of mechanisms at play stem from points of vulnerability, including key developmental windows and the involvement of maternal or paternal germ cell lifetime exposures. This lecture will discuss the latest knowledge on epigenetic mechanisms and transgenerational outcomes associated with the reprogramming of the brain and behaviors, thus promoting disease risk or resiliency.
 
Theme F: Cognition and Behavior
 
When Good Neurons Go Bad: Dopamine Neuron Regulation and its Disruption in Psychiatric Disorders
Anthony A. Grace, Ph.D., Sunday, Nov. 10, 10 a.m. to 11:10 a.m.
Midbrain dopamine neurons have been implicated in a broad variety of psychiatric disorders, ranging from schizophrenia to drug abuse and depression. These disorders appear to result not from pathology within the dopamine neurons themselves, but from a disruption in their normal regulation. This lecture will describe how limbic and cortical afferents regulate baseline tonic activity and phasic activation of dopamine neurons to salient stimuli, and how disruption of these inputs may lead to pathological states.
 
Free Energy and Active Inference
Karl J. Friston, FRS, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 8:30 a.m. to 9:40 a.m.
This lecture provides an overview of theoretical approaches to functional brain architectures using the free energy formulation of active inference and predictive coding. Its focus is on basic concepts and how they can be used to understand functional anatomy and the intimate relationship between action and perception. The underlying ideas will be described heuristically and their application will be illustrated using simulations of perceptual synthesis, action observation and visual searches.
 
Theme G: Novel Methods and Technology Development
 
How Synthetic and Chemical Biology Will Transform Neuroscience
Bryan L. Roth, Ph.D., M.D., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 10 a.m. to 11:10 a.m.
One of the grand challenges for neuroscience research is to understand how biologically active small molecules (e.g. neurotransmitters, neuromodulators and drugs) exert their actions at successive levels ranging from the atomic to ensembles of neuronal networks. This lecture will demonstrate how recent advances in chemical and synthetic biology technology have catalyzed new insights into bioactive small molecule actions. The lecture will show how atomic-level discoveries have ultimately led to transformative insights at the level of neuronal systems.    
 

 
Symposia  
 
Saturday, Nov. 9
 
Fred Kavli Public Symposium on Creativity
Antonio Damasio, Ph.D., 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
 
Multilevel Analysis of Pattern Separation and Completion: A Role for Subregions of the Hippocampus
Craig Stark, Ph.D., 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
 
The Neuronal Code(s) of the Cerebellum
Detlef H. Heck, Ph.D., 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
 
Sunday, Nov. 10
 
Empirical Approaches to Neuroscience and Society Symposium: Gender Bias: Facing the Facts for the Future of Neuroscience
Jennifer L. Raymond, Ph.D., 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
 
Mechanisms of Deep Brain Stimulation Efficacy in Neuropsychiatric Disorders
Dennis L. Glanzman, Ph.D., 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
 
The Brain-Blood Connection: Brain Control Over Its Own Blood Flow in Normal and Dysfunctional States
Ron D. Frostig, Ph.D., 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
 
5-Hydroxymethylcytosine and Active DNA Demethylation in Experience-Dependent Neural Function and Psychiatric Disorders
Timothy Bredy, Ph.D., 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
 
Novel Advances in Understanding Mechanisms of Habituation
Catharine Rankin, Ph.D., 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
 
Monday, Nov. 11
 
Neuropeptide Signaling in Cellular Interactions
Illana Gozes, Ph.D., 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
 
The Emotion Triad: The Role of Interactions Between the Amygdala, Hippocampus and Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Mood and Anxiety
Joshua A. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
 
The Role of Transposable Elements in Health and Diseases of the Central Nervous System
Matthew Reilly, Ph.D., 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
 
All for One and One for All: Progress in Single Cell Neurobiology
James Eberwine, Ph.D., 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
 
Maps and Meters for Sound Location
Jennifer M. Groh, Ph.D., 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
 
Neuro-Epigenetics in Neural Development, Plasticity and Brain Disorders
Hongjun Song, Ph.D., 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
 
Tuesday, Nov. 12
 
Brain, Cognition, and Genetics in Healthy Aging
Apostolos P. Georgopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
 
Epigenetics in Epilepsy: Epiphany or Epiphenomenon?
Tallie Z. Baram, M.D., Ph.D., 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
 
Sensory End Organs: Signal Processing in the Periphery
Stephen D. Roper, Ph.D., 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
 
How the Lateral Hypothalamus Links Energy Status with Motivated Behaviors
Alan G. Watts, D.Phil., 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
 
Wednesday, Nov. 13
 
Eph Receptors and Ephrins: Therapeutic Targets for Neural Injury and Neurodegenerative Diseases
Ann Turnley, Ph.D., 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
 
Law and Neuroscience
Owen Jones, J.D., 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
 
Neocortex: Why So Many Layers and Cell Types?
Randy M. Bruno, Ph.D., 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
 
How Do Immune Cells Shape the Brain in Health, Disease and Aging?
Michal Schwartz, Ph.D.,1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
 
The Human Connectome in Health and Disease
Andrew Zalesky, Ph.D, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
 

 
PHOTOS OF THE HOST CITY (SAN DIEGO):
 
 
San Diego, known for its usually lovely and mild weather, is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean some 120 miles south of Los Angeles and immediately adjacent to the U.S.-Mexico border. CREDIT: Joanne DiBona
 
The San Diego Convention Center will be host to an expected 30,000 or more attendees of Neuroscience 2013. CREDIT: San Diego Convention Center 
 
Pictured here is the Dolphin Discovery Show, but SeaWorld San Diego also features such attractions as the Shamu show, named after the famous orca, and such rides as Journey to Atlantis, Shipwreck Rapids and Wild Arctic. Another notable draw is Turtle Reef, an attraction featuring a 280,000-gallon aquarium with some 60 threatened sea turtles, an interactive game that teaches kids about the threats turtles face in the wild, a map that tracks rehabilitated turtles and a ride called Riptide Rescue. CREDIT: SeaWorld San Diego
 
The San Diego Trolley provides service from key locations downtown, including the Santa Fe Depot and the San Diego Convention Center, crisscrossing through downtown but also out to locations like Old Town and Mission Valley. Pictured here is the 12th Street Station. CREDIT: Joanne DiBona
 
The San Diego Zoo in the Balboa Park neighborhood, just north of downtown San Diego, is home to more than 3,700 animals representing more than 650 species and subspecies. The zoo also features a prominent botanical collection with more than 700,000 exotic plants. CREDIT: San Diego Zoo
 
The Gaslamp Quarter is considered by many to be the heart of San Diego and is a center of downtown night life in the city. Many dining and shopping options fill the historic district, and more can be found in the nearby Horton Plaza mall.  CREDIT: Joanne DiBona
 
(To return to part one of this coverage, click here)

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