AREADNE 2016 Logo   AREADNE 2016
Research in Encoding And Decoding of
Neural Ensembles

Nomikos Conference Centre
Santorini, Greece
22-26 June 2016
  AREADNE Brain Maze Logo


The 2016 meeting will be our sixth session, and will celebrate ten years of AREADNE conferences. We are actively planning and organizing for a meeting on 22-26 June 2016. If you have questions about the conference, please contact the Organizing Committee Co-Chairs, John Pezaris and Nicholas Hatsopoulos, at, or use the Contact AREADNE 2016 page. Also, sign up for the Google Group for Official AREADNE Announcements to get a message when there is news for the conference.

For information about the current or recent conferences, please check the AREADNE home page:

Site Overview

Introduction (scroll down)
Important Dates
Travel Information
Hotel Information
Practical Information
Restaurant Information
Additional Activities
Frequently Asked Questions
Archives of Previous Meetings
Google Group for Official Announcements


One of the current fundamental problems in neuroscience is to understand how the activation of large networks of neurons gives 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.

Recent technological advances have provided new glimpses into the global functioning of the brain. These technologies include functional magnetic resonance imaging, optical imaging and manipulation methods, 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

There are three major goals of the AREADNE Conferences. First and foremost, the meetings are intended to gather global scientific leaders who work on neural ensembles and create a touch-point for a widely disparate and hybrid field. Second, with a spectacular setting on Santorini, the conferences have been carefully planned to foster discussion and interaction between attendees to encourage the establishment of lasting professional relationships. Third, these meetings continue our efforts to promote systems neuroscience in Greece through creating a world-class forum for cutting-edge research.

Conference Location and Organization

The 2016 conference will take place on the Greek island of Santorini from Thursday through Sunday, 23-26 June 2016, with an informal welcoming reception the evening before the start of scientific presentations (that is, the evening of Wednesday, 22 June 2016). The formal portion of the conference will take place at the Petros M. Nomikos Conference Centre in the town of Firá (see photo to the right). The conference will be single-track. Morning talks with a half-hour coffee break will be followed by a working lunch. After an afternoon break, participants will reconvene for early evening talks, coffee, and poster presentations, ending in time for late dinner in accord with local customs. Although delegates are welcome from around the world, speakers have been selected primarily from the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. As we expect to be oversubscribed this year, attendees are highly encouraged to submit proposals for poster presentations, as poster presenters will be given priority for registration.

Submission of Poster Abstracts

We anticipate being oversubscribed for 2016 as in previous years, and so strongly encourage anyone who is considering attending the conference to submit a poster abstract. Accepted posters will have a registration reserved for the presenter. Other registration spots will be on a first come first served basis.

Registration and Fees

Conference fees will be finalized in late 2015, and are subject to change without notice until such time, but are currently anticipated to be USD 450 for students, USD 650 for post-docs, USD 850 for faculty members or professionals, and USD 1250 for on-site registrants, space permitting. On-site fees are considered full price; the other levels are discounted thanks to the generosity of our sponsors. Registration fees are payable in USD by credit card.

Registration fees cover coffee breaks, hot lunches, a welcoming reception, an evening banquet, and an optional excursion. Attendance will be strictly limited by the capacity of the conference center. Registration is separate from proposal submission. Each accepted poster will have one registration spot reserved for the presenting author that has priority over other registrants. Once registration has filled, a waiting list gets established; at previous meetings, there were only a few people on the waiting list who were eventually offered a registration spot. If the conference is full, on-site registrations will not be accepted. Every AREADNE meeting thus far has sold out.

Refund Policy. In the event you have registered but will be unable to attend, a full refund of the paid registration fees will be given until 18 May 2016, a 50% refund will be given from then until 1 June 2016, and no refund will be given after 1 June 2016.

Important Dates

2016-01-06  Abstract submissions open (anticipated)
2016-02-12  Abstract submissions close (anticipated)
2016-03-18  Abstract notifications sent (anticipated)
2016-03-21  Registration opens (anticipated)
2016-06-01  Registration closes, fees increase from Regular to On-Site
2016-06-22  Conference Welcome Reception (late PM)
2016-06-23  Conference opens (early AM)
2016-06-26  Conference closes (late PM)
2016-06-26  Conference Banquet Dinner (late PM)

Attendees should plan to arrive in Santorini by 22 June 2016 (or the day before, especially for intercontinental travelers), and depart on or after 27 June 2016.


Many hotels are available in Firá and Firostefani, from inexpensive C class / two-star hotels to luxury A class / four-star caldera-view cave suites. The conference center is located 15 minutes by foot from the center of Firá, and much of Firostefani. Attendees are advised to stay in hotels that are walking distance from the Centre. Plan to arrive by Wednesday, 22 June 2016 (or the day before), and depart Monday, 27 June 2016.

We suggest booking your hotel room as early as possible.


Daily coffee breaks, lunches, and a welcoming reception will be provided at the conference center. Working lunches will be provided on three of the four days. A gala banquet will be held nearby on the final day of the conference. Costs for these meals are included in the conference fee for participants; guests are welcome to the welcoming reception, and additional tickets will be available to bring guests to the gala banquet.

Breakfasts are typically included in hotel rates, or available with hotel bookings for a nominal charge, and are thus not provided at the conference center. There is a wide selection of nearby restaurants for evening meals, and loosely organized excursions go to different restaurants each evening, except the last when we have the banquet.

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 magnificent sunsets. 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, Santorini Island, and Travel to Santorini.

Optional guided excursions are planned to the archaeological site of Akrotiri and to Nea Kameni, the volcano island at the center of the caldera. These events may not be able to accommodate everyone.

Additional suggested activities are available.


Air transportation to Athens International Airport (ATH) is available through nearly all of the major international airlines, many discount air services, and numerous charter companies. Air transport from Athens to Santorini (JTR) takes less than an hour and is available multiple times per day. It is often possible to arrange flights 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, about one hour by taxi, rail or bus away from the Athens airport.

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 Firá, and is walking distance to many hotels and restaurants, so having a motorized vehicle is not required.

Detailed 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. We are happy to assist with visa letters for registered attendees.


The schedule for the four-day conference 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 detailed speaker and poster schedule will not be available until the conference, even to the speakers.

All attendees should plan a stay that includes arrival Santorini no later than Wednesday, 22 June 2016 (or the day before for intercontinental travelers), and departure no earlier than the following Monday.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016
19:30-21:30   welcome reception (wine and cheese) and registration

Thursday, 23 June 2016
08:00-08:30   registration
08:30-12:30   lectures and coffee break
12:30-14:00   lunch
17:00-21:30   lectures, coffee break, and poster session

Friday, 24 June 2016
09:00-12:30   lectures and coffee break
12:30-14:00   lunch
17:00-21:30   lectures, coffee break, and poster session

Saturday, 25 June 2016
09:00-13:00   optional archaeological and geological excursions
17:00-21:30   lectures, coffee break, and poster session

Sunday, 26 June 2016
09:00-12:30   lectures and coffee break
12:30-14:00   lunch
17:00-19:30   lectures and coffee break
21:00-24:00   banquet reception (full dinner)

By long-standing policy we do not release the detailed speaker or poster schedule before the start of the conference. (Why not?)

Confirmed Speakers

Our speakers include many global luminaries in the field of Computational Neuroscience. We hope that you will enjoy hearing them speak and will participate with them in the after-talk discussions. In alphabetical order by last name, our confirmed speakers are:

Matthias Bethge   University of Tuebingen
Rick Born   Harvard Medical School
Marlene Cohen   University of Pittsburgh
Rosa Cossart   INSERM
James DiCarlo   MIT
Lisa Giocomo   Stanford
Konrad Kording   Northwestern University
Matthew Larkum   Humboldt University of Berlin
Albert Lee   HHMI Janelia Farm
John Maunsell   University of Chicago
Edvard Moser   Norwegian Univ of Science and Technology
May-Britt Moser   Norwegian Univ of Science and Technology
Stephanie Palmer   University of Chicago
Liam Paninski   Columbia University
Xaq Pitkow   Rice University
Michael Roukes   Caltech
Peter Schiller   MIT
Stelios Smirnakis   Baylor College of Medicine
Nelson Spruston   HHMI Janelia Farm
Gina Turrigiano   Brandeis University

Organizing Committee

Nicholas Hatsopoulos, Co-Chair  University of Chicago
John Pezaris, Co-Chair  Harvard Medical School
Andreas Tolias  Baylor College of Medicine
Yiota Poirazi  Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas
Thanos Siapas  Caltech
Dora Angelaki  Baylor College of Medicine

The Myth of Ariadne

We take the conference name AREADNE from the subtitle, Research in Encoding And Decoding of Neural Ensembles, combined with the name of the mythological figure Ariadne.

Theseus, an Athenian hero, journeyed to Crete to slay the Minotaur, a half-bull, half-human creature. King Minos of Crete kept the Minotaur at the center of a large maze he built, known as the Labyrinth.

Minos' daughter Ariadne, after whom we've named the conference, gave Theseus a sword and a ball of silk thread, both of which had been given to her by Daedalus, designer of the labyrinth. Theseus tied one end of the thread at the entrance, unwinding the rest as he navigated the Labyrinth, so that after slaying the Minotaur, he could easily escape by following the thread back out.

Practical Information

We have assembled a body of practical information to guide planning for attending an AREADNE Conference.

Et Cetera

The language of presentation for AREADNE Conferences is English.

To be sent important email announcements about AREADNE 2016, please send a message to the organizers at, or add yourself to the Google Group for Official AREADNE Announcements.

Internet access will be provided at the Nomikos Conference Centre only to a limited extent. This is a conscious decision to encourage attendees to participate in the conference rather than to be distracted by email and the Web. Internet cafes are readily available in Firá for emergencies and extended access. The response from the attendees to all of our previous conferences on this policy was overwhelmingly positive.

Certificates of attendance will be issued at the conference, or can be requested after the conference from

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions

For additional information on other conference-related topics, please contact the Organizing Committee Co-Chairs, Nicholas Hatsopoulos and John Pezaris, at

Photographs on this site were all taken on Santorini 2005-2014 by John Pezaris (except the satellite view published by NASA), to display the magnificence and austere beauty of the island. Click on any of them to view a larger version (and use the BACK button on your browser to return to the previous page). Images are copyrighted by the artist and are used by The AREADNE Foundation with permission.

Copyright 2005-2015, All Rights Reserved.
AREADNE | Email | Search | Archive