Symposia

 

Theme A: Development

Making Serotonergic Neurons: From Mouse to Human - Jian Feng

Chair: Jian Feng, PhD
State University of New York at Buffalo
Date & Time: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 1:30pm - 4pm
Location: SDCC 6F
CME: 2.5

Serotonergic neurons exert diverse actions in the brain. This symposium will highlight how knowledge on the development of mouse serotonergic neurons informs the strategies to generate human serotonergic neurons by directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells or by transdifferentiation of fibroblasts. The ability to generate patient-specific serotonergic neurons opens up unprecedented opportunities for mechanistic studies and drug discovery in many serotonin-related brain disorders.

Neuroepigenetics - Li-Huei Tsai

Chair: Li-Huei Tsai, PhD
Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Broad Institute of Harvard
Date & Time: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 8:30am - 11am
Location: SDCC 6A
CME: 2.5

The aim of the symposium is to discuss the role of epigenetic mechanisms of neuronal diversity, the plasticity of neuronal networks, and their alteration during various neurological disorders. The symposium will focus on the chromatin-based mechanism of neuronal gene expression regulation, as well as on the epigenetic foundations of memory and social behavior, and how pharmacological compounds that target specific epigenetic processes can interfere with the diseases.

Neuronal Cytoskeleton 2.0: A Revised View of an Ancient Edifice - Subhojit Roy

Chair: Subhojit Roy, MD, PhD
University of California, San Diego
Co-Chair: Casper Hoogenraad, PhD
Utrecht University
Date & Time: Sunday, November 13, 2016 8:30am - 11am
Location: SDCC 6F
CME: 2.5

The neuronal cytoskeleton is essential for trafficking molecules into axons and dendrites and also for maintaining the structural integrity of these elongated appendages. Recent advances in super-resolution, live imaging, and genetics have revealed a remarkable cytoskeletal organization in neurons, essentially revising canonical models. The goal of this symposium will be to inform the audience of these exciting new developments, present ongoing research, and foster cross-talk between participants.

Theme B: Neural Excitability, Synapses, and Glia

Synaptic Actin Dysregulation: A Convergent Mechanism of Mental Disorders? - Scott H. Soderling

Chair: Scott H Soderling, PhD
Duke University School of Medicine
Co-Chair: Zhen Yan, PhD
State University of New York at Buffalo
Date & Time: Saturday, November 12, 2016 1:30pm - 4pm
Location: SDCC 6B
CME: 2.5

Synaptic actin polymerization governs activity-dependent modulation of excitatory synapses. Many candidate genes for psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders encode regulators of signaling to the actin cytoskeleton, suggesting that its disruption is a commonly affected pathway in brain disorders. This symposium will discuss recent experimental findings that strongly support genetic evidence linking the synaptic cytoskeleton to conditions such as schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders.

The Ultrastructural Basis of Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity - Kristen M. Harris

Chair: Kristen M Harris, PhD
University of Texas
Co-Chair: Nils Brose, PhD
Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine
Date & Time: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 1:30pm - 4pm
Location: SDCC 6A
CME: 2.5

Since the invention of the electron microscope, the function of synapses has been illuminated by ultrastructure. Technological advances in stimulation and fixation methods, protein identification, and 3-D reconstruction provide key insights into how subcellular and molecular components mediate synaptic transmission and plasticity. This symposium will explore the ultrastructural and proteinaceous basis of synapse function and the defined plasticity states involved in learning and memory.

Theme C: Neurodegenerative Disorders and Injury

Autophagy-Lysosomal Mechanism in Neurodegeneration - Zhenyu Yue

Chair: Zhenyu Yue, PhD
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Co-Chair: Ana Maria Cuervo, MD, PhD
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Date & Time: Saturday, November 12, 2016 1:30pm - 4pm
Location: SDCC 6A
CME: 2.5

This symposium will present recent advances in autophagy research in neurons and major neurodegenerative diseases. It will provide insight into molecular mechanisms of autophagy control, particularly on subtypes of autophagy that regulate neuronal homeostasis via the clearance of disease protein aggregates and damaged mitochondria. The session will discuss how disease mutants disrupt the autophagy-lysosomal pathway, and strategies of harnessing neuroprotection of autophagy for therapeutic development.

Microtubule and Tau-Based Therapy for Alzheimer's Disease and Other Brain Disorders - Illana Gozes

Chair: Illana Gozes, PhD
Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
Co-Chair: Eckhard Mandelkow, PhD
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases(DZNE)
Date & Time: Monday, November 14, 2016 8:30am - 11am
Location: SDCC 6A
CME: 2.5

The microtubule subunit, tubulin, is a major brain protein. Microtubule associated proteins like tau are key regulatory elements of neuronal and glial health. Microtubule dysfunction leads to blockade of axonal transport, glial impairment, and synaptic dysfunction/loss, which are hallmarks of brain diseases. This symposium will focus on microtubules in different cell types for a better understanding of brain function in health and disease, and toward improved diagnostics and therapeutics.

Proteoglycans in Neural Development and Disease - Herbert M. Geller

Chair: Herbert M Geller, PhD
National Institutes of Health
Co-Chair: Jerry Silver, PhD
Case Western Reserve University
Date & Time: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 1:30pm - 4pm
Location: SDCC 6A
CME: 2.5

Proteoglycans are secreted by every cell, yet their functions in the nervous system are still mostly unexplored. Uniquely, proteoglycans signal through their sugar chains rather than their protein backbones. These chains are heterogeneous in both length and sulfation pattern. This symposium will highlight recent developments in identification of receptors and signal transduction mechanisms used by heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, and how they are involved in development, plasticity, disease, and the injury response in the nervous system.

Theme D: Sensory Systems

Current Topics in Chronic Pain: From Molecules to Medicine - Cheryl L. Stucky

Chair: Cheryl L Stucky, PhD
Medical College of Wisconsin
Co-Chair: Xinzhong Dong, PhD
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Date & Time: Monday, November 14, 2016 8:30am - 11am
Location: SDCC 6B
CME: 2.5

Chronic pain is a persistent, debilitating condition stemming from a variety of etiologies and diseases. Over 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic pain that is only partially alleviated by current therapies and treatments. Recent studies have elucidated novel molecular and cellular players that drive chronic pain in animal models and human conditions. This symposium will review these advances and discuss their implications for the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain patients.

Mechanisms of Object Organization in the Visual Cortex - Rudiger von der Heydt

Chair: Rudiger von der Heydt, PhD
Johns Hopkins University
Date & Time: Monday, November 14, 2016 1:30pm - 4pm
Location: SDCC 6F
CME: 2.5

How does the visual cortex organize elementary features to objects? This symposium will provide a comprehensive picture of recent findings on object-based coding at low and intermediate cortical levels (V1-V2-V4), its possible mechanisms, and its hypothetical role in vision. The session will also question where the organizing influence comes from, what its time course is relative to other stages of visual processing, and how the organizing influence relates to object individuation, awareness, recognition, and selective attention.

Neuroscience of Music: Novel Discoveries and Their Implications in the Understanding of Music and the Brain - Elizabeth Stegemöller

Chair: Elizabeth Stegemöller, PhD
Iowa State University
Co-Chair: Patricia Izbicki
Iowa State University
Date & Time: Sunday, November 13, 2016 8:30am - 11am
Location: SDCC 6B
CME: 2.5

Recent developments in understanding the effects of music on the brain have revolutionized music therapy, musical neuroeducation, music perception, and music cognition. This symposium will highlight the neurological mechanisms and significance of music used in the clinical setting, neuroeducation, and daily experiences. Experts in the areas of neuroscience and music will speak on topics including music and neuroplasticity, music and neurochemistry, and the biology of auditory learning.

Theme E: Motor Systems

Facilitation of Recovery of Motor Function After Paralysis With Noninvasive Spinal Cord Stimulation - V. Reggie Edgerton

Chair: V. Reggie Edgerton, PhD
University of California, Los Angeles
Date & Time: Monday, November 14, 2016 1:30pm - 4pm
Location: SDCC 6A
CME: 2.5

This symposium describes changes of the physiological state of spinal networks using noninvasive spinal cord stimulation combined with step training in an exoskeleton. The speakers will demonstrate recovery of voluntary movement, posture, and locomotor function in individuals that have been paralyzed for over one year, a time which historically has been considered beyond the critical period for motor recovery. A subject that has received these interventions will share his experiences.

New Developments in Understanding the Complexity of Human Speaking - Kristina Simonyan

Chair: Kristina Simonyan, MD, PhD
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Date & Time: Sunday, November 13, 2016 8:30am - 11am
Location: SDCC 6A
CME: 2.5

Speech is one of the most unique features of human existence and communication. Our ability to articulate our thoughts depends critically on the integrity of the motor cortex. Long thought to be a low-order brain region, exciting work in the past years is overturning this notion. In this symposium, speakers will highlight major experimental advances in speech motor control research and discuss emerging findings about the complexity of speech motor cortex organization and its large-scale networks.

Spike Timing Codes for Motor Control - Samuel J. Sober

Chair: Samuel J Sober, PhD
Emory University
Date & Time: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 8:30am - 11am
Location: SDCC 6F
CME: 2.5

Neurons emit spike trains that vary in both the rate and precise timing patterns of spikes. Whereas there is substantial evidence that sensory systems can use millisecond-scale spike timing patterns to encode information, studies of motor control have focused almost exclusively on spike rates. This session will present emerging work from a wide range of species (insects, songbirds, and mice) showing that brains can control behavior by precisely regulating spike timing patterns.

The Neural Basis of Adaptive Motor Control in the Cerebellum - Reza Shadmehr

Chair: Reza Shadmehr, PhD
Johns Hopkins University
Date & Time: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 1:30pm - 4pm
Location: SDCC 6B
CME: 2.5

The cerebellum is critical for learning to make accurate movements, yet the neural mechanisms of how it learns this adaptive control remain poorly understood. This symposium will consider this puzzle by attempting to answer three questions, regarding what Purkinje cells and cells at deep cerebellar nuclei encode, what inferior olive neurons that project onto these cells encode, and how Purkinje cells learn to alter their encoding in response to error information from the inferior olive.

Theme F: Integrative Physiology and Behavior

Getting Down to Business: Identifying Epigenetic Mechanisms of Behaviors Within Discrete Cell Populations - Tracy L. Bale

Chair: Tracy L Bale, PhD
University of Pennsylvania
Co-Chair: Paul J Kenny, PhD
Icahn School of Medicine At Mount Sinai
Date & Time: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 8:30am - 11am
Location: SDCC 6B
CME: 2.5

Identifying the epigenetic modifications and their impact within discrete neuronal populations is critical in understanding brain health and disease risk, including behaviors important to stress coping, addiction, and learning and memory. Expert speakers will describe their latest studies on novel epigenetic mechanisms, including miRNAs, nucleosome remodeling, and unique histone modifications, and demonstrate their role in specific behavioral outcomes.

Physical Activity Impacting Neuroplasticity in Aging and Disease - Giselle Petzinger

Chair: Giselle Petzinger, MD
University of Southern California
Co-Chair: Sarah McEwen, PhD
University of California, Los Angeles
Date & Time: Sunday, November 13, 2016 1:30pm - 4pm
Location: SDCC 6A
CME: 2.5

This symposium will present translational research investigating physical activity-induced structural and functional alterations in brain circuits and synaptic function, and potential mechanisms underlying activity-dependent plasticity in aging and disease. Effects of exercise on structure and functional connectivity of the brain and alterations in gene and protein expression important for neuroplasticity will be discussed in the context of aging, neurodegenerative disorders, and schizophrenia.

Theme G: Motivation and Emotion

Advances in Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Along the Space-Time Continuum - C. Alex Goddard

Chair: C. Alex Goddard, PhD
Tal Medical
Co-Chair: Sarah H Lisanby, MD
National Institute of Mental Health
Date & Time: Monday, November 14, 2016 1:30pm - 4pm
Location: SDCC 6B
CME: 2.5

Noninvasive brain stimulation (NBS) is a key tool for probing neural circuit function and is being tested to ameliorate a host of neurological and psychiatric conditions. Recent studies suggest that specific spatial and temporal NBS parameters are critical for achieving effective modulation of intact neural circuitry. This symposium will highlight several studies that explore the importance and physiological relevance of specific spatial or temporal patterns using different forms of NBS.

Moving From Pavlovian ‘Fear' Conditioning to Active Avoidance - Christopher K. Cain

Chair: Christopher K Cain, PhD
New York University School of Medicine
Co-Chair: Gregory J Quirk, PhD
University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine
Date & Time: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 1:30pm - 4pm
Location: SDCC 6B
CME: 2.5

In the active avoidance paradigm (AA), subjects learn to emit actions that escape threats and prevent harm. AA research stalled in the 1970s, partly because psychologists disagreed intensely over the reinforcement mechanisms and nature of avoidance responding (operant vs. respondent). However, recent work has shed new light on the distinction between AA and fear conditioning brain circuits. This session will detail this progress and discuss the role of AA in human anxiety disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Neural Basis of Social Rewards and Group Decisions: From Scanners to the Real World - Brian Knutson

Chair: Brian Knutson, PhD
Stanford University
Co-Chair: Jorge Moll, MD, PhD
D'Or Institute For Research and Education
Date & Time: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 8:30am - 11am
Location: SDCC 6A
CME: 2.5

Neuroimaging has dramatically improved our understanding of the neurobehavioral systems that support social cognition and choice. This symposium will highlight new advances, focusing on the role of reward and motivation in social perception, interpersonal communication, intergroup relations, and mass prosocial behavior. Speakers will also describe novel techniques and trends poised to extend the frontiers of neuroscience and account for social preferences and behaviors in naturalistic settings.

The Lateral Habenula Circuitry: Reward Processing and Cognitive Control - Aleksandra Vicentic

Chair: Aleksandra Vicentic, PhD
National Institute of Mental Health
Co-Chair: Bo Li, PhD
Cold Spring Harbor Lab
Date & Time: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 8:30am - 11am
Location: SDCC 6B
CME: 2.5

This symposium will present novel concepts from animal studies of the lateral habenula that have been recently tested with causal methods, with a goal to dissect the role of specific inputs and outputs of the LHb in processing of reward and aversion. Because dysfunctions in reward processing have been implicated in psychiatric illnesses and drug abuse, the symposium will increase our mechanistic understanding of how aberrant activity in the LHb circuits may contribute to these disorders.

Theme H: Cognition

Fronto-Subthalamic Circuits for Control of Action and Cognition - Adam R. Aron

Chair: Adam R Aron, PhD
University of California, San Diego
Date & Time: Monday, November 14, 2016 8:30am - 11am
Location: SDCC 6F
CME: 2.5

This session will report new findings about the cognitive functions and computational properties of the circuit linking frontal cortex and subthalamic nucleus (STN) of the basal ganglia. Diverse and novel technical approaches in humans are taken to record cortical and STN electrophysiology at the same time, to record single-unit human STN activity, to use 7T fMRI, and to stimulate STN optogenetically in mice. The role of the circuit is highlighted for stopping and pausing behavior and cognition.

Is the Prefrontal Cortex Special? Working Memory Across the Cortical Mantle: From Single Units to Neural Ensembles - Julio C. Martinez-Trujillo

Chair: Julio C Martinez-Trujillo, MD, PhD
Western University
Co-Chair: Christos Constantinidis, PhD
Wake Forest University School of Medicine
Date & Time: Saturday, November 12, 2016 1:30pm - 4pm
Location: SDCC 6F
CME: 2.5

Working memory (WM) is one of the pillars of cognition. This symposium will offer an updated view of WM coding in primates, with emphasis in the prefrontal cortex. Experts will discuss WM coding in different brain areas of macaques, how the macaque prefrontal cortex encodes WM across the life span, how the prefrontal cortex integrates WMs from different modalities, and how to bridge WM studies in macaques and humans.