Research in Encoding and Decoding of
Neural Ensembles
June 26 – 29, 2008
Nomikos Conference Center
Santorini, Greece

One of the fundamental problems in neuroscience today is to understand
how the activation of large populations of neurons give rise to higher
order functions of the brain including learning, memory, cognition,
perception, action and ultimately conscious awareness.
Electrophysiological recordings in behaving animals over the past
forty years have revealed considerable information about what the
firing patterns of single neurons encode in isolation, but it remains
largely a mystery how collections of neurons interact to perform these
Recent technological advances have for the first time provided a
glimpse into the global functioning of the brain. These technologies
include functional magnetic resonance imaging, optical imaging methods
including intrinsic, voltage-sensitive dye, and two-photon imaging,
high-density electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography, and
multi-microelectrode array electrophysiology. These technologies have
expanded our knowledge of brain functioning beyond the single neuron
At the same time, our understanding of how neuronal ensembles carry
information has allowed the development of brain-machine interfaces
(BMI) to enhance the capabilities of patients with sensory and motor
deficits. Knowledge of how neuronal ensembles encode sensory stimuli
has made it possible to develop perceptual BMIs for the hearing and
visually impaired. Likewise, research in how neuronal ensembles
decode motor intentions has resulted in motor BMIs by which people
with severe motor disabilities can control external devices.
First and foremost, this conference is intended to bring scientific
leaders from around the world to present their recent findings on the
functioning of neuronal ensembles. Second, the meeting will provide an
informal yet spectacular setting on Santorini in which attendees can
discuss and share ideas outside of the presentations at the conference
center. Third, this conference continues our long term project to form
a systems neuroscience research institute within Greece to conduct
state-of-the-art research, offer meetings and courses, and provide a
center for visiting scientists from around the world to interact with
Greek researchers and students.
The conference will span four days, in morning and early evening
sessions. Confirmed speakers include experts in the field of
multi-neuron experiment and analysis (in alphabetic order): Larry
Abbott, John Assad, John Dani, John Donoghue, Jennifer Groh, Naoum Issa,
Nancy Kopell, George Kostopoulos, Gilles Laurent, Nikos Logothetis, Lee
Miller, Jason MacLean, Eve Marder, Tony Movshon, Bill Newsome, Catherine
Ojakangas, Tatiana Pasternak, Desmond Patterson, Yiota Poirazi, Alex
Pouget, Erin Schuman, Krishna Shenoy, Murray Sherman, and Sara Solla.
We are currently soliciting abstracts for poster presentation.
Submissions will be accepted electronically, and must be received by
March 8, 2008. Automated email acknowledgment of submission will be
provided, and manual verification will be made a few days after
submission. Notification of acceptance will be provided by April 3,
Please see our on-line Call for Abstracts at for additional details.
John Pezaris, Co-Chair
Nicho Hatsopoulos, Co-Chair
Dora Angelaki
Catherine Ojakangas
Thanos Siapas
Andreas Tolias
The AREADNE 2008 Conference is being sponsored by the Center for
Integrative Neuroscience and Neuroengineering Research, University of
Chicago and Illinois Institute of Technology.
For further information please see the conference web site or send email to

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