Interesting Lectures at NeuroSciences 2008 (SFN)

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R Bishop
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Interesting Lectures at NeuroSciences 2008 (SFN)

Anybody here attending Neuro 2008 in two weeks? What peeks your interest?


Fraser Moss
Fraser Moss's picture
OK here's my preliminary list

OK here's my preliminary list for the BIG talks

Albert and Ellen Grass Lecture

The Right Synapse in the Right Place

Speaker: Joshua R. Sanes, PhD
Harvard University

Monday, Nov. 17, 3:15 – 5 p.m.
Walter E. Washington Convention Center: Hall D

Formation of synapses involves matching of pre- and postsynaptic partners, coordination of their differentiation, and activity-dependent synaptic maturation. Defects in all of these steps have been implicated in the most mysterious of all human maladies, behavioral disorders. This lecture will focus primarily on the first of these processes: how axons “choose” a particular target and, in many cases, a particular part of the target cell’s surface. New methods for analyzing how these choices are made and for mapping the specific circuits to which they give rise will also be discussed

History of Neuroscience Lecture
Reflecting on the Field of Brain and Memory

Speaker: Brenda A. Milner, ScD
McGill University

Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Walter E. Washington Convention Center: Hall D

This talk reviews how, in the early 1950s, the study of a few patients with amnesia resulting from bilateral medial temporal lobe damage provided early evidence for multiple memory systems in the brain, and it will show how recent technological
advances, such as functional neuroimaging, have permitted a more precise delineation of brain-behavior relationships in memory processes.

Memory and Hippocampal Networks: The Impact of Aging

Speaker: Carol A. Barnes, PhD
University of Arizona

Sunday, Nov. 16, 5:15 – 6:15 p.m.
Walter E. Washington Convention Center: Hall D

An understanding of the neural basis of cognition requires examination of the dynamics of large populations of neurons in
behaviorally-driven networks. Developments in ensemble electrophysiological recording and functional imaging methods provide a framework for understanding how the hippocampus
stores and retrieves information. This lecture reviews how changes in plasticity mechanisms and network dynamics during aging impact the computations that presumably underlie initial episodic memory formation and contribute to cognitive deficits observed in older mammals.

Dendrites Become Active: Colorful Wings of
the Mysterious Butterflies

Speaker: Daniel Johnston, PhD
University of Texas at Austin

Wednesday, Nov. 19, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Walter E. Washington Convention Center: Hall D

Cajal referred to neurons as the “mysterious butterflies of the soul.” The wings of these butterflies, or their dendrites, were originally thought to be passive integrators of synaptic input. During the past 30 years, through the efforts of many investigators, neuronal dendrites have been shown to be “colorful”, that is to be endowed with a plethora of voltage-gated ion channels, with each family of butterflies made of distinct mosaic patterns of hues and shades. These patterns also undergo activity-dependent plasticity leading to an almost chameleonic adaptability for the neuron.

Synaptic Plasticity: The Control of Inhibitory Circuits

Speaker: Julie A. Kauer, PhD
Brown University
Tuesday, Nov. 18, 10 – 11 a.m.

Walter E. Washington Convention Center: Hall D

LTP and LTD are well-established cellular mechanisms to control synaptic strength, and contribute to learning, development, and other activity-dependent neuroadaptations to environmental stimuli. The great majority of studies have described synaptic plasticity at excitatory synapses on excitatory neurons, but recent work has begun to identify novel molecular mechanisms
underlying synaptic plasticity of GABAergic synapses and at excitatory synapses impinging on GABAergic interneurons. This talk will use hippocampal and ventral tegmental area synapses as examples.

Neural Mechanisms of Cortical Dysfunction in Addiction:
Consequence or Cause of Compulsive Behavior

Speaker: Jane Rebecca Taylor, PhD
Yale University School of Medicine

Monday, Nov. 17, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Walter E. Washington
Convention Center: Hall D

The neural mechanisms underlying the progression to compulsive drug use in addiction are unknown. Altered plasticity in limbicstriatal regions affect reward-related learning and memory processes. This lecture will review evidence linking drug-induced neuroadaptations in regions of frontal cortex that coordinate limbicstriatal function in the transition from fl exible goal-directed to habitual and stimulus-driven behavior. A comprehensive view of compulsive aspects of addiction must integrate the contributions of drug-induced and pre-existing cortical dysfunction.

R Bishop
R Bishop's picture
Cajal referred to neurons as

Cajal referred to neurons as the “mysterious butterflies of the soul.” That sounds awesome! I need a full report!

mchinmoyee's picture
Thank you!

Thank you!
People who are attending plz keep updating.
Thank you ALL

Fraser Moss
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Well as expected Joshua R.

Well as expected Joshua R. Sanes talk was very stimulating, and focused on the study of axon and dendrite guidance from retinal ganglion cells (RGC) and the molecular determinants of laminar specificity.

The research presented focused on the retinotectal system because it is one of the few systems for which the function is clearly known - vision.

The RGC cell receives its innervations from in the inner plexiform layer (IPL) of the retina and sends axons to the optic tectum in the retinorecipient layer.

RGCs form a set of parallel paths that also do parallel processing in the most literal sense i.e. adjacent cells can send their axons to different retinorecipient laminae.

OFF cells almost always have their dendrites in the distal part of the retinal ganglion layer but ON cells have their dendrites in the proximal region.

Dr Sanes described the work of Maschito Yamagata who developed molecular screens to determine laminar specificity of individual RGCs.

Yamagata determined that four closely related members of the immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF): sidekick-1 sidekick-2, Dscam (Down's syndrome cell adhesion molecule), and DscamL are expressed in mutually exclusive but complementary subsets of neurons that form synapses in distinct IPL sublaminae. (1).
Each one of these four proteins is concentrated in the appropriate sublaminae and mediates hemophilic adhesion. That is adhesion only occurs between cells/synapses both expressing one of the four isoforms. Cells hetereologously expressing a single one of these proteins were mixed in various combinations, but adhesion only occurred between cells expression the same isoform.
Depletion of Dscam and of Sidekick-1 and Sidekick-2 expression disrupted the laminar patterning processes in the S5 and S4 layers in to which their processes normally extend. In each case, the processes became defasciculated and extended beyond the boundaries of the sublamina in which they were normally reside.

It is not clear at what stage of development the sidekicks and Dscams expression begins to influence the guidance of the RGCs and it is also not known what else the cells express in terms of adhesion or recognition markers. Other IgSF relations include the “contactins”. The expression of contactin2 is very narrowly confined.
(1) Dscam and Sidekick proteins direct lamina-specific synaptic connections in vertebrate retina. Yamagata M, Sanes JR. Nature. 2008 Jan 24;451(7177):465-9.

Dr Sanes also described the “Brainbow”. This has been well described in the literature and several online articles. See these links for a summary
Nature. 2007 Nov 1;450(7166):56-62.