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Conference Program
 
Neuroethology: Behavior, Evolution & Neurobiology
August 10-15, 2008
Magdalen College
Oxford, United Kingdom

Related Meeting Information
The Neuroethology: Behavior, Evolution & Neurobiology Gordon Research Conference was held in conjunction with the Neuroethology: Behavior, Evolution & Neurobiology Gordon-Kenan Research Seminar. Please refer to the Neuroethology: Behavior, Evolution & Neurobiology GKRS web page for more information.

This conference will focus on the evolution of neural circuits underlying species-specific behavior. In the spirit of the Gordon Conferences, the meeting is meant to foster intense discussion with the intent to push the frontiers of the field. Each speaker is is being given 20 minutes to speak to be followed by 15-20 minutes of discussion. These will not be conventional data-driven talks; rather, the speakers will address the central questions of the session using their own work and the work of others in their field to illustrate their ideas.

Graduate students and post-docs are encouraged to also register for the associated Gordon Research Seminar: Neuroethology 2050, which will take place just prior to this conference (Aug 9-10) at Magdalen College, Oxford University.


Contributors
AIR FORCE OFFICE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
CELL PRESS
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
THE GRASS FOUNDATION

SUNDAY
4:00 pm - 9:00 pmArrival and Check-in
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:40 pm - 9:30 pm Keynote Lectures
Discussion Leaders: Catherine Carr (University of Maryland) and Paul Katz (Georgia State University)
7:45 pm - 8:15 pmJoshua Gold (University of Pennsylvania)
"Experience-dependent mechanisms of perceptual decision-making"
8:15 pm - 8:35 pm Discussion
8:35 pm - 9:05 pmMichael Platt (Duke University)
"Neural mechanisms of social decision-making"
9:05 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
MONDAY
8:00 am - 9:00 amBreakfast
9:05 am - 12:30 pm Origin of nervous systems
Did nervous systems evolve more than once? What implications does this have for generalizing the results of neuroethology?
Discussion Leaders: Steffan Harzsch (MPI Jena) and Robert Meech (Univ of Bristol)
9:10 am - 9:30 amLeonid Moroz (University of Florida)
"What is a Neuron from a Genomic Standpoint? Polyphyletic Origin and Natural System of Neurons"
9:30 am - 9:50 am Discussion
9:50 am - 10:30 am Coffee Break / Group Photo
10:30 am - 10:50 amHeinrich Reichert (University of Basel)
"Insect and chordate nervous systems"
10:50 am - 11:10 am Discussion
11:10 am - 11:30 amWilliam Jeffery (University of Maryland)
"Evolution of the neural crest"
11:30 am - 11:50 am Discussion
11:50 am - 12:10 pmDan-E. Nilsson (Lund University)
"Early selection in eye evolution"
12:10 pm - 12:30 pm Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm Structure and Function in Neural Circuits
How much does structure dictate function? Does structure tell you anything about function or are cellular properties more important?
Discussion Leaders: Ayako Yamaguchi (Boston Univ.) and Heather Eisthen (Michigan State University)
7:35 pm - 7:55 pmElke Buschbeck (University of Cincinnati)
"What unusual eyes can tell us about visual system function"
7:55 pm - 8:10 pm Discussion
8:10 pm - 8:30 pmDmitri Chklovskii (Cold Spring Harbor Labs)
"What determines the shape of dendrites"
8:30 pm - 8:45 pm Discussion
8:45 pm - 9:05 pmWilliam Kristan (Univ. California San Diego)
"Multifunctional neuronal circuits: The roles of dynamics and modulation"
9:05 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
TUESDAY
8:00 am - 9:00 amBreakfast
9:15 am - 12:30 pm Homology, Homoplasy, and Divergence in Neural circuits
Does common form indicate common origin? Does evolution always yield a common solution? How different?
Discussion Leaders: Harold Zakon (University of Texas) and Keith Sillar (Univ. St. Andrews)
9:20 am - 9:40 amJose Pena (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)
"Comparative aspects of sound localization by humans and owls"
9:40 am - 10:00 am Discussion
10:00 am - 10:30 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 10:50 amBenedikt Groethe (University of Munich)
"Inhibition and mammalian sound localization circuits"
10:50 am - 11:05 am Discussion
11:05 am - 11:25 amChristine Koppl (University of Sydney)
"Evolution of sound localization circuits"
11:25 am - 11:45 am Discussion
11:45 am - 12:05 pmDaphne Soares (University of Maryland)
"Diversity and common themes in the fish forebrain"
12:05 pm - 12:30 pm Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm Human Qualities in Animals
To what extent can other animals be used to study qualities, states, and experiences that are thought to be uniquely human, such as love, hallucinations, illusions, sleeping and dreaming, and social interactions? To what extent is it unjustified anthropomorphism?
Discussion Leaders: Catharine Rankin (University of British Columbia) and Andrew Barron (Macquarie University)
7:35 pm - 7:55 pmWilliam Frost (Rosalind Franklin University)
"Evidence for drug-induced hallucinations in animals"
7:55 pm - 8:10 pm Discussion
8:10 pm - 8:30 pmLeslie Griffith (Brandeis University)
"‘To sleep, perchance to dream...’ The Sleeping Fly: Dreams of conserved behavioral mechanisms"
8:30 pm - 8:45 pm Discussion
8:45 pm - 9:05 pmLarry Young (Emory University)
"Vole Love: Can monogamous rodents provide insights into the neurobiology of love in humans?"
9:05 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
WEDNESDAY
8:00 am - 9:00 amBreakfast
9:05 am - 12:30 pm Evo-Devo of Neural circuits
Is it possible to use developmental and genetic techniques to achieve a mechanistic understanding of the evolution of neural circuits in complex animals? What are the pitfalls and promises?
Discussion Leaders: Cliff Ragsdale (University of Chicago) and Kathy French (UCSD)
9:10 am - 9:30 amVolker Hartenstein (UCLA)
"Evo-devo analysis of microcircuitry"
9:30 am - 9:50 am Discussion
9:50 am - 10:30 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 10:50 amRobert Williams (University of Tennessee)
"Mice and the Genetics of Microevolutionary Changes in Brain Structure"
10:50 am - 11:10 am Discussion
11:10 am - 11:30 amHans Hofmann (University of Texas)
"Explaining behavioral and neural plasticity at the level of populations, physiology and molecular biology"
11:30 am - 11:50 am Discussion
11:50 am - 12:10 pmBarbara Finlay (Cornell University)
"Conservation of neurodevelopmental schedules: Causes and effects in vertebrate evolution"
12:10 pm - 12:30 pm Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 8:00 pmBusiness Meeting
(Nominations for the next Vice Chair; Fill out Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss future Site & Scheduling preferences; Election of the next Vice Chair)
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm Breaking News in Insect Neuroethology
This session will have researchers giving short data-driven talks on their latest research results in insect neuroethology.
Discussion Leaders: Jochen Zeil (RSBS, ANU) and Susan Fahrbach (Wake Forest University)
8:00 pm - 8:15 pm Barry Trimmer (Tufts University)
"Soft-bodied locomotion: caterpillar neuromechanics and a new class of biomimetic robots"
8:15 pm - 8:20 pm Discussion
8:20 pm - 8:35 pm Ricarda Scheiner (Technical University Berlin)
"Response thresholds, division of labour and life-time learning in honey bees"
8:35 pm - 8:40 pm Discussion
8:40 pm - 8:55 pm Amir Ayali (Tel Aviv University)
"Locust density-dependent behavioral change as a model for learning and memory"
8:55 pm - 9:00 pm Discussion
9:00 pm - 9:15 pmSteven M. Reppert (University of Massachusetts Medical School)
"A genetic model for magnetoreception"
9:15 pm - 9:20 pm Discussion
9:20 pm - 9:30 pm General Discussion
THURSDAY
8:00 am - 9:00 amBreakfast
9:15 am - 12:30 pm Variability and Homeostasis in Neural Circuits
How variable are the properties of neurons and neural circuits? Do we ignore variability in search of simple answers? What type of mechanisms are in place to cause and control variability?
Discussion Leaders: Peter Wenner (Emory Univeristy) and Ansgar Büschges (University of Cologne)
9:20 am - 9:40 amEmilio Salinas (Wake Forest)
"Variability in sensory tuning curves may reflect optimal adaptation to motor activity"
9:40 am - 10:00 am Discussion
10:00 am - 10:30 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 10:50 amVladimir Brezina (Mount Sinai School of Medicine)
"Variability of spike and motor program timing in a motor system: a feature, not a bug"
10:50 am - 11:05 am Discussion
11:05 am - 11:25 amAstrid Prinz (Emory University)
"Variability and robustness in pattern generating circuits"
11:25 am - 11:45 am Discussion
11:45 am - 12:05 pmScott Hooper (Ohio University)
"How good is good enough? Using perturbation to build neuron models and assess their performance"
12:05 pm - 12:30 pm Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 5:30 pmPoster Session
5:30 pmReception on the Cloisters Lawn
6:00 pmFormal Dinner
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm Special Keynote Lecture
Discussion Leaders: Catherine Carr (University of Maryland) and Paul Katz (Georgia State University)
7:35 pm - 8:15 pmMartin Heisenberg (University of Würzburg)
"Genetics meets Neuroethology. Three parties, the third one still to come"
8:15 pm - 8:30 pm Discussion
8:30 pm - 9:30 pm State of the Field of Neuroethology
In this closing discussion, we will address important issues related to the future of Neuroethology. This will integrate with the Gordon Research Seminar: Neuroethology 2050. Specifically, we will discuss the following questions: Is Neuroethology uncovering general principles or is it describing diversity? How effective have neuroethologists been at communicating with the general scientific community? What do we see as the direction for neuroethology in the next 40 years?
John Hildebrand (University of Arizona)
Hemai Parthasarathy (Public Library of Science)
Zoe Donaldson (Emory University)
FRIDAY
8:00 am - 9:00 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by NS062447 from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

 
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