The Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities is in its 37th year of operation, and 32nd year of funding under the auspices of NICHD. The name """"""""Gatlinburg Conference"""""""" is retained for historical reasons, though the conference venue varies from coastal southwest, midcentral, and coastal southeast United States on a 3-year cycle. Over the past 5 years, participation has been characterized by a wider geographic representation of developmental disabilities researchers. The conference has been successful in providing a forum for researchers on behavioral and biobehavioral aspects of theory and research in mental retardation and has served as one of the main annual meetings for behavioral researchers from all of the major research centers. One third of its participants are students and postdoctoral trainees who attend with their mentors. It therefore has an important research training function for future MR researchers. Its program features about 120 submitted papers, 4 major invited addresses on related specific """"""""themes"""""""" related to the field of mental retardation and recognition of outstanding student papers. The 2-1/2 day annual conference is divided into three parallel topical sessions except during plenary presentations. These plenary speakers infuse the conference attendees with new ideas from contemporary cognate fields of research, and MR researchers in turn inform them of important MR research ideas which impact on their work. Approximately every other year the conference is preceded by a workshop on a specific set of technologies relevant to mental retardation research, but with which many behavioral scientists have limited expertise, such as genetics and neuroimaging method.