This proposal requests partial support for an international meeting on Neuroethology as part of the Gordon Research Conference series. The meeting will be held at Stonehill College, Massachusetts, USA, August 14-19, 2011, and will be preceded by a Graduate Research Seminar August (13-14). The long-term goal of this ongoing conference is to increase our understanding of the development, function, and evolution of neural circuits. The 2011 meeting features several sessions that investigate how animals live in their species-specific sensory worlds. The key question: Can we use our understanding of sensory systems to link neuroscience and ecology (""""""""neuro-ecology"""""""")? The specific aim of this meeting is to convene 22 expert speakers and 18 discussion leaders representing the forefront of neuroethology with a total of 135-150 participants for a 5 day conference in an academic setting selected to foster interaction. The intention will be to provoke day-long discussion across the sub-disciplines of neuroethology. The main program will feature two opening (keynote) speakers and eight scientific sessions. The two keynote talks will be linked by the topic of epigenetics, forcing neuroethologists to consider how the individual life histories of their subjects must be integrated into neural circuit analysis. Three sessions will focus on the sensory world: one on transduction, one on sensory integration, and one on the neural processing underlying natural tasks. A related session will use touch as sensed by insects and mammals to address the topic of how neuroethological investigations can contribute to bioengineering. One session will address issues related to brain size and behavior. Two additional sessions focus on the cost of information processing and the possible use of measures of the expression of immediate early genes as neuroethological tools. Daily poster sessions will permit all participants to contribute to the conference, and the organizers will encourage poster submissions related to the formal sessions. The significance of this application is that the Gordon Research Conference on Neuroethology is a critical component of the annual cycle of conferences that unite the international community of neuroethologists. (The Gordon Research Conference on Neuroethology convenes in odd-numbered years;the International Society of Neuroethology convenes its congress in even-numbered years.) The health relatedness of this application is that the discussions will define the challenges that face the designers of effective neural prostheses. The Graduate Research Seminar is titled """"""""Graduate Research Seminar: Compare or Perish!"""""""" At this meeting, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers will meet to discuss the future of neuroethology in an open, informal atmosphere that will prepare young scientists to derive maximum benefit from the full Gordon Research Conference that follows.
The Gordon Conference on Neuroethology: Behavior, Evolution, and Neurobiology will be held August 14-19, 2011, at Stonehill College in Massachusetts, USA. This meeting provides an exceptional opportunity for researchers from around the world to discuss emerging concepts related to the development, function, and evolution of neural circuits. There will be a pre- meeting Graduate Research Seminar to enhance the training experience for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. Explicitly examining the evolutionary and comparative aspects of neural circuits will provide new insights into the design of effective neural prostheses.