Neuroscience 2014 in Review: Sharing Science, Connecting With Colleagues
More than 31,200 neuroscientists from around the globe came together in Washington, DC, in November for Neuroscience 2014, the world’s largest meeting focused on scientific discovery related to the brain and nervous system. The Washington Convention Center teemed with neuroscience researchers, clinicians, and advocates attending lectures and symposia, sharing their work, and exploring the various professional development and networking opportunities.
The annual meeting featured nearly 14,000 poster presentations, 13 special lectures, and 52 symposia and minisymposia, which covered topics including novel methods and technology development, disorders of the nervous system, improving animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders, and advances in cortical development. In addition to the posters and scientific lectures, attendees navigated an Exhibit Hall with 537 companies displaying and demonstrating new neuroscience tools and technologies.
SfN also offered an expanded set of training, mentoring, and professional development activities for neuroscientists at every stage of their career. Attendees had the opportunity to talk with respected neuroscientists about their research techniques and accomplishments during the Meet-the-Expert Series.
The popular Careers Beyond the Bench workshop helped neuroscientists explore and create career trajectories outside of academia. Hundreds of neuroscientists also took advantage of full-day training opportunities — the Neurobiology of Disease Workshop on stroke recovery and two short courses on advances in multineuronal monitoring of brain activity and brain-scale, automated anatomical techniques.
Dialogues Lecture: Food for Thought
During his Dialogues Between Neuroscience and Society lecture, noted chef, restaurateur, and Top Chef contestant Bryan Voltaggio prepared culinary treats for a panel of esteemed neuroscientists to sample while discussing his creative process in developing meals. He described how he uses alluring smells, colors, and flavors to tease and deceive the senses.
“In a dining experience, you touch on all five major senses, no matter what. Taking them and playing with them and trying to figure out a way to trick them is fun and exciting,” Voltaggio said.
Not only is eating a rich sensory experience, it also affects memory and future perceptions. Voltaggio explained that he attempts to create a pleasurable culinary experience that connects his diners to a place, time, or memory. The panel of neuroscientists then analyzed their own expectations and sensations as they tried a variety of dishes, including mock oysters, smoked salmon, and mushroom porridge. Watch the complete Dialogues lecture at SfN.org/dialogues.
Taking the Conversation Online
For Neuroscience 2014, 10 official SfN bloggers recorded their personal experiences from the meeting, with at least one blogger covering each of the eight main meeting themes. Keep the conversation and collaboration going in NeurOnLine’s Neuroscience 2014 community at neuronline.sfn.org/AM14.
Did you have a chance to visit the exhibit floor? You can revisit the Exhibit Hall online to check out annual meeting products with the My Neuroscience Marketplace virtual directory at SfN.org/exhibithall. Browse by alphabetical listing or category, and search by product, company description, keyword, exhibitor name, and booth number.
You can also check out the early buzz about Neuroscience 2015, taking place October 17-21 in Chicago, by visiting SfN on Twitter at @SfN_tweets or @Neurosci2015 and using the hashtag #SfN15.