Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Conference on Wiring the Brain March 24-28, 2015 Abstract The Wiring the Brain meeting will take place March 24 -28, 2015 at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York. The main goal of this meeting is to bring together researchers from diverse fields to explore how brain connectivity is established, how genetic variation can affect these processes, how circuit and network function are affected by defects in neural development and how this can lead to psychiatric and neurological disease. The goal is to stimulate cross-talk between scientists approaching questions of brain connectivity from traditionally separate disciplines. The main themes of the meeting are: How is the connectivity of the brain established? How can we probe, visualize and model brain connectivity? How does the brain's circuitry mediate its functions? How do the functions of brain circuits generate mental experience? What happens when the wiring of the brain is disrupted? A particular focus of the meeting will be on mammalian systems (from rodents to human) and on trying to understand the genetic, neurodevelopmental and neurophysiological bases of psychiatric and neurological disorders. This distinguishes from the "Neural Circuit" meeting at CSHL, which include substantial studies in invertebrates with more focus on cellular and molecular mechanisms. Our hope is to help develop a heuristic framework to explain how mutations in genes affecting neural development alter brain connectivity, affect brain functions and ultimately lead to psychopathology. The meeting will cover a broad spectrum of topics ranging from detailed analysis and perturbation of specific circuits to whole brain connectivity to clinical implications at the organismal level. Session themes include: Genetically programmed development;Activity-dependent development;Genetics of neurodevelopmental disorders;Modeling neurodevelopmental disorders;Connectivity - from synapses to systems;Circuits - function and dysfunction;Wiring the human brain;and Cognitive development - the emergence of the mind. Each session will be chaired by a leading scientist in the field. Oral presentations will be given by a group of distinguished invited speakers as well as speakers selected from submitted abstracts. Selected speakers will include graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty aiming for maximal inclusion of young investigators. Of special importance are the two poster sessions, where many participants can present their work in an atmosphere conducive to informal discussion. The meeting will be of moderate size and we expect about 250 people to attend, the vast majority of whom will be presenting a poster or talk.
2015 Wiring the Brain Conference at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory The human brain contains around 100 billion neurons (and more than a trillion glial cells). These neurons are connected to each other in extraordinarily complex patterns that allow the brain to process, analyze and store information, and whose collective activities underlie our every sense, thought and memory. Major questions include how the connectivity of the brain is established? How can we probe, visualize and model brain connectivity? How does the structure of the brain's circuitry mediate its functions? How do the functions of brain circuits generate mental experience? What happens when the wiring of the brain is disrupted? How are many of the mental disorders that afflict modern society, from schizophrenia to autism, can be more fully understood, and eventually treated or even cured, through improved understanding of brain connectivity? Groups and laboratories from around the world need to meet regularly and often to share their latest data and exchange ideas. We therefore propose to hold an international meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in March 2015 on the theme of wiring the Brain.