AREADNE 2006 Logo   AREADNE 2006
Research in Encoding And Decoding of
Neural Ensembles

Nomikos Conference Centre
Santorini, Greece
22-25 June 2006
  AREADNE Brain Maze Logo


AREADNE 2006 was a smashing succes. This part of the web site now holds the archival material from the conference. Thanks to everyone who helped make it a fantastic meeting!

The final scientific program is available as a PDF download (2 MB) from

» Note that the file can take upwards of 30 seconds to download. «

Please cite the program as: J. S. Pezaris and N. G. Hatsopoulos (editors) Proceedings of AREADNE 2006, Santorini, Greece, 22-25 June 2006, published by The AREADNE Foundation, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA,

Photos from the conference can be seen here.

Information on upcoming AREADNE conferences can be found at


One of the fundamental problems in neuroscience today is to understand how the activation of large populations of neurons give rise to the higher order functions of the brain including learning, memory, cognition, perception, action and ultimately conscious awareness. Electrophysiological recordings in behaving animals over the past forty years have revealed considerable information about what the firing patterns of single neurons encode in isolation, but it remains largely a mystery how collections of neurons interact to perform these functions.

Colorful Caldera Recent technological advances have for the first time provided a glimpse into the global functioning of the brain. These technologies include functional magnetic resonance imaging, optical imaging methods including intrinsic, voltage-sensitive dye, and two-photon imaging, high-density electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography, and multi-microelectrode array electrophysiology. These technologies have expanded our knowledge of brain functioning beyond the single neuron level.

At the same time, our understanding of how neuronal ensembles carry information has allowed the development of brain-machine interfaces (BMI) to enhance the capabilities of patients with sensory and motor deficits. Knowledge of how neuronal ensembles encode sensory stimuli has made it possible to develop perceptual BMIs for the hearing and visually impaired. Likewise, research in how neuronal ensembles decode motor intentions has resulted in motor BMIs by which people with severe motor disabilities can control external devices.

Conference Mission Statement

House with Oleander There are three major goals of this conference. First and foremost, this conference is intended to bring scientific leaders from around the world to present their recent findings on the functioning of neuronal ensembles. A secondary goal of the conference is to provide an informal yet spectacular setting on Santorini in which conference attendees can discuss and share ideas outside of the presentations at the conference center. Third, this conference is the kick-off event for our long term project to form a systems neuroscience research institute within Greece. This institute will conduct state-of-the-art research, offer meetings and courses, and provide a center for visiting scientists from around the world to interact with Greek researchers and students.

Conference Organization

The conference will take place on the Greek island of Santorini from Thursday through Sunday, June 22-25, 2006. The formal portion of the conference will take place at the Nomikos Conference Centre in the town of Fira. The conference will be single-track. Morning 45-minute talks with a half-hour coffee break will be followed by a provided lunch. After the long afternoon break, we will reconvene for coffee, early evening talks and poster presentations before a late dinner. Although attendees are welcome from around the world, speakers have been selected primarily from the United States and Europe. Attendees are highly encouraged to submit proposals for poster presentations.

Submission of Poster Proposals

Submission of abstracts for poster presentation has closed. If you have a late abstract to submit, please contact the organizers via email at

Registration and Fees

Santorini Stairs The conference fees for post-docs and faculty memebers are USD 400 before April 10, and USD 500 after, with a discount for students. This will include coffee breaks, lunches, a welcoming reception, and an evening banquet. Attendance will be strictly limited by the capacity of the conference center to 120 attendees, including the speakers and organizers. Registration is separate from proposal submission. We encourage potential participants to submit poster abstracts as early as possible.

Registration has closed. If you wish to register or have been invited or instructed to do so by one of the organizers, please contact us by email at

Our refund policy in the event you have registered but will be unable to attend is that a full refund of the registration fees will be given until one month before the conference on 22 May; a 50% refund will be given from then until two weeks before the conference on 8 June; and after 8 June no refund will be given.

Important Dates

2006-01-10  Abstract Submissions open
2006-03-07  Registration opens
2006-03-08  Abstract Submissions close
2006-04-03  Abstract Notifications are sent
2006-04-10  Registration fees increase from Early to Late
2006-05-16  Registration closes, fees increase from Late to On-Site
2006-06-21  Conference Welcome Reception (8pm)
2006-06-22  Conference opens (9am)
2006-06-25  Conference closes (9pm)
2006-06-25  Conference Banquet Dinner


Many hotels are available in and around Fira and Firostefani, from inexpensive C class to luxury caldera-view cave suites. The conference center is located 15 minutes by foot from the center of Fira, and a similar distance from much of Firostefani. While it is possible to stay in the town of Oia, this would require driving to and from the conference center each day and is not recommended as parking is generally difficult. We hope that conference attendees, like the organizing committee, will stay in hotels that are walking distance from the Centre. A list of recommended hotels is available. We suggest booking your hotel room as early as possible.


Caldera Twilight Daily coffee breaks, lunches, and a welcoming reception will be provided at the conference center. A banquet is to be held at a local restaurant on the final day of the conference. Costs for these meals will be included in the conference fee for participants, and additional tickets will be available to bring guests to the welcoming and banquet receptions.

Breakfasts are typically included in hotel rates, or available with hotel reservations for a nominal charge. Evening meals will not be provided by the conference (except the banquet), but the island has a wide selection of restaurants, and we anticipate making loosely organized excursions to a different restaurant each evening. Some restaurant recommendations are available.

Activities on the island

In addition to sweeping vistas, Santorini boasts excellent nightlife, a respectable wine industry, beaches with white, black, or red sand, excavations of ancient civilizations, and some of the best sunsets around. More information can be found in various travel guides, or on the Web. Good places to start are publications like The Lonely Planet and The Rough Guide guides for Greece, and web sites like Greek Travel Santorini and Santorini Island.

We are planning optional guided excursions to the archeological site of Ancient Thera and to the volcano island and sulfur springs at the center of the caldera. These events may not be able to accommodate everyone. Additional suggested activities are available.


CINNR Logo The University of Chicago's Center for Integrative Neuroscience and Neuroengineering Research (CINNR) is sponsoring this conference with the help of a generous gift from Dr. and Mrs. George Hatsopoulos.


Air transportation to Athens International Airport (ATH) is available on a regularly scheduled basis through nearly all of the major international airlines. Air transport from Athens to Santorini (JTR) takes less than an hour and is available multiple times per day. It is normally possible to arrange flight schedules so that overnight stays in Athens are not required when connecting to and from Santorini.

Sea passage from Athens to Santorini can be a relaxing experience and is recommended for the awe-inspiring approach to the port at the base of the immense caldera cliffs. Ferries for Santorini leave from the port of Piraeus, approximately one hour's taxi drive away from the Athens airport. Rail transportation is also available from the airport to the ferries but takes somewhat longer. There are two broad classes of boats, the canonical, or slow boats, and the fast, or highspeed, boats. Pricing goes according to boat speed and ticket class.

Getting around on the island can be done by bus and taxi. Cars and scooters are readily available for hire. The conference center is located in the town of Fira, and is walking distance to many hotels and restaurants.

More transportation information is available here.

Visa Requirements

European citizens have free Schengen access to Greece. United States citizens traveling on regular passports (excluding diplomatic and governmental passports) do not require visas for visits shorter than 90 days. Citizens of other countries will need to contact their home governments to determine visa requirements.

Preliminary Schedule

Nomikos Centre Here is the preliminary schedule for the four-day conference, which follows the Greek lifestyle of having a long lunch, afternoons free for siestas or swimming, and a late dinner. To encourage participants to stay for the entire event, the exact speaker schedule will not be available until the conference. Please take the schedule below as a guideline, as the details for each day may change as arrangements are finalized. Attendees should plan to arrive on Santorini on Wednesday, 21 June 2006, and depart the following Monday.

19:00-21:00   welcome reception (wine and cheese)

09:00-12:30   lectures and coffee break
12:30-14:00   lunch
17:30-21:00   coffee, lectures and poster session

09:00-12:30   lectures and coffee break
12:30-14:00   lunch
17:30-21:00   coffee, lectures and poster session

09:00-12:00   optional archaeological and geological excursions
17:30-21:00   coffee, lectures and poster session

09:00-12:30   lectures and coffee break
12:30-14:00   lunch
17:30-20:00   coffee and lectures
21:00-24:00   banquet reception (full dinner)

Confirmed Speakers

Green Awning Our speaker list includes many luminaries in the field of Computational Neuroscience from around the world. We hope that you will enjoy hearing them speak as much as we will.

Richard AndersenCaltech
Carol BarnesUniversity of Arizona
Gyorgy BuzsakiRutgers University
Greg DeAngelisWUSTL
Michale FeeMIT
Gerhard FriehsNeuroSurgery Foundation
Apostolos GeorgopoulosUniversity of Minnesota
Leslie KayUniversity of Chicago
Gilles LaurentCaltech
Roger LemonUCL
Stephen LisbergerUCSF
Dan MargoliashUniversity of Chicago
Markus MeisterHarvard University
Miguel NicolelisDuke University
Barry RichmondNIH
Alexa RiehleCNRS
Michael ShadlenUniversity of Washington
Andreas ToliasMax Plank Institute
Phil UlinskiUniversity of Chicago
Eilon VaadiaHebrew University

Organizing Committee

Nicholas Hatsopoulos, Co-Chair
John Pezaris, Co-Chair
Dora Angelaki
Thanos Siapas
Catherine Ojakangas
Apostolos Georgopoulos
Nikos Logothetis

Local Organizers

Nike Makres
Fani Metaxa

The Myth of Ariadne

Olive Trees We take the conference name from the title, Research in Encoding And Decoding of Neural Ensembles, mixed in with the name of the mythological figure Ariadne.

Ariadne was the daughter of Minos, king of Crete. The hero Theseus came to Crete from Athens to slay the Minotaur (a half bull, half human creature) that was kept at the center of the Labyrinth -- a maze built by King Minos. Ariadne gave Theseus a sword and a ball of silk thread, which Daedalus, designer of the labyrinth, had given to her. Theseus tied one end of the thread to the door and unwound the thread as he went along, so that after he had found and slain the Minotaur, he could escape from the maze by following the thread back to the entrance.

Et Cetera

The language of presentation will be English.

Registration is now closed.

Poster submission is now closed. If you have a late abstract to submit, please contact us at

Some practical information about visiting the island is available.

For additional information, please contact the Organizing Committee Co-Chairs, Nicholas Hatsopoulos and John Pezaris, at

The brain/maze logo was designed by Doug Rubino, a graduate student at UChicago working with Nicho Hatsopoulos.

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