PROJECT SUMMMARY The annual meeting of Advances and Perspectives in Auditory Neuroscience (APAN; www.med.upenn.edu/APAN/) is a one-day satellite meeting of the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience; the first APAN symposium was in 2003. The typical attendance of APAN is ~225 people; mostly, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and other trainees. The primary Aim of APAN is to bring together the cohort of neuroscientists who are engaged in identifying the neural correlates (both cortical and sub-cortical) of auditory behavior ?including the perceptual, cognitive, and sensorimotor factors? that underlie communication, multisensory processing, and neural plasticity. Bringing together this group of scientists in this forum is critical because many of the theoretical approaches, techniques, and methodologies of this research field are relatively unique. Consequently, a focused symposium spurs the scientific enterprise in this important research area.
Our second Aim i s to facilitate meaningful and educational interactions between junior and senior neuroscientists throughout the program and to promote women and those in underrepresented groups in communicative and auditory neuroscience. In our selection criteria for oral presentations, we have consistently, since our inception, highlighted the contributions of junior scientists as well as women and those from underrepresented groups. In 2013, we established ?poster teasers? that give a cadre of junior scientists? opportunities to draw attention to their posters as a short oral presentation. In the previous grant cycle, we established a ?Young Investigator Spotlight? talk that features an outstanding junior scientist. In the current proposal, we are offering a second Spotlight talk and will increase the number of travel awards trainees to offset the cost of travel to APAN. Both of these changes facilitate a more inclusive APAN community. Finally, APAN is extremely relevant to the scientific mission of the NIDCD for a variety of reasons. For example, the majority of scientists at APAN are funded through an NIDCD mechanism and conduct basic research on communication, auditory processing, plasticity, and hearing prosthetics. Further, APAN provides an outstanding training opportunity for junior neuroscientists. Finally, the translational and clinical impact of many of the presentations is high due to their focus on fundamental mechanisms underlying auditory perception, whose dysfunction can lead to various hearing-related problems. We seek funding to continue this flagship conference.
The translational and clinical impact of the APAN is high due to its focus on fundamental mechanisms underlying communication and auditory perception, whose dysfunction can lead to various aphasias and hearing-related problems. APAN has become the premier venue for disseminating and forging collaborations on these key scientific issues. It also provides an opportunity for fostering and developing the next generation of scientists.