AREADNE 2010 Logo   AREADNE 2010
Research in Encoding And Decoding of
Neural Ensembles

Nomikos Conference Centre
Santorini, Greece
17-20 June 2010
  AREADNE Brain Maze Logo


AREADNE 2010 was another smashing succes. This part of the web site now holds the archival material from the conference. Thanks to everyone who helped make our third meeting even better than the last!

The final scientific program is available as a PDF download (6 MB) from

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

Please cite the program as: N. G. Hatsopoulos and J. S. Pezaris (editors) Proceedings of AREADNE 2010, Santorini, Greece, 17-20 June 2010, published by The AREADNE Foundation, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA,

Information on upcoming AREADNE conferences can be found at

Site Overview

Introduction and Overview (scroll down)
Important Dates
Transportation Information
Hotel Information
Practical Information
Restaurant Information
Additional Activities
Archives of Previous Meetings
Google Group for Official Announcements
Contact the Conference Organizers


One of the current fundamental problems in neuroscience is to understand how the activation of large populations 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.

White and Cream 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

Blue Chair 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. Second, the meeting will provide an informal yet spectacular setting on Santorini in which attendees can discuss and share ideas with special emphasis on interactions beyond the traditional presentations. Third, this conference continues the public aspects of our long term project to form a systems neuroscience research institute within Greece to 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, 17-20 June 2010, with a welcoming reception the evening before the conference begins (that is, the evening of 16 June 2010). 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 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. As we expect to be oversubscribed this year, attendees are highly encouraged to submit proposals for poster presentations, as poster presenters will be given registration priority.

Submission of Poster Abstracts

We anticipate being oversubscribed this year, 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. Please see our Call for Abstracts.

Abstract submission is now closed. As anticipated we were oversubscribed. Notifications have all been sent via email.

Registration and Fees

Gate with Kameni Conference fees will be USD 375 for students, USD 575 for post-docs, USD 775 for faculty members, and USD 975 for on-site registrants, space permitting. Fees include 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 to 120 attendees, including the speakers, moderators, and organizers. Registration is separate from proposal submission. We encourage potential participants to submit poster abstracts as early as possible. Each accepted poster will have one registration spot reserved for the presenting author that has priority over other first-come-first-served registrants. Once registration has filled, we will establish a waiting list; at previous meetings, there were only a few members of the waiting list to whom we were eventually able to offer a registration spot. If the conference is full, on-site registrations will not be accepted.

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 17 May 2010; a 50% refund will be given from then until about two weeks before the conference on 1 June 2010; and no refund will be given after 1 June 2010.

Important Dates

2010-01-11  Abstract submissions open
2010-03-12  Abstract submissions close
2010-04-14  Abstract notifications sent
2010-04-16  Registration opens
2010-06-04  Registration closes, fees increase from Regular to On-Site
2010-06-16  Conference Welcome Reception (7pm-9:30pm)
2010-06-17  Conference opens (8:30am)
2010-06-20  Conference closes (7:30pm)
2010-06-20  Conference Banquet Dinner (9pm)

Attendees should plan to arrive in Santorini by 16 June 2010 and depart on 21 June 2010 or later.


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 requires driving to and from the conference center each day. We hope that conference attendees, like the organizing committee, will stay in hotels that are walking distance from the Centre. Plan to arrive on Wednesday, 16 June 2010, and depart Monday, 21 June 2010.

We suggest booking your hotel room as early as possible.


Bougainvillea Daily coffee breaks, lunches, and a welcoming reception will be provided at the conference center. A gala 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; additional tickets will be available to bring guests to the welcoming reception and gala banquet.

Breakfasts are typically included in hotel rates, or available with hotel reservations for a nominal charge. Although evening meals will not be provided by the conference (except the banquet), 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 anywhere. 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.

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

Sponsors and Administration

We are proud to have received generous financial and in-kind support from ---

Dr. and Mrs. George Hatsopoulos
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Grant Number R13NS066636
The National Science Foundation CBET/Bioengineering, Grant Number 1005436
Foley and Lardner, LLC
The Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Award Number 1008916
The Massachusetts General Hospital
The Center for Integrative Neuroscience and Neuroengineering Research (CINNR) at The University of Chicago and Illinois Institute of Technology

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are the sole responsibility of the web site authors and conference contributing delegates, and do not necessarily reflect the official views of any of our sponsoring individuals or institutions.


Air transportation to Athens International Airport (ATH) is available on a regularly scheduled and seasonal basis through nearly all of the major international airlines, and by many of the newer discount companies. 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 or bus transportation are 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, so having a motorized vehicle is not required.

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


Centre on Ridge 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 to arrive on Santorini by Wednesday, 16 June 2010, and to stay through the following Monday.

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

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

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

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

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)

Confirmed Speakers

Our speaker list includes many luminaries from around the world 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.

Helen Barbas   Boston University
Carlos Brody   Princeton University
Matteo Carandini   University College London
Jose Carmena   University of California Berkeley
Bob Desimone   MIT
Tim Ebner   University of Minnesota
Adrienne Fairhall   University of Washington
Eb Fetz   University of Washington
Tamar Flash   The Weizmann Institute of Science
David Freedman   University of Chicago
Georgia Gregoriou   University of Crete
Melina Hale   University of Chicago
Michael Häusser   University College London
Jeff Lichtman   Harvard University
Nikos Logothetis   Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
Nike Makris   Hellenic Education and Research Center
Des Patterson   Australian National University
Bijan Pesaran   New York University
Barry Richmond   NIH / National Institute of Mental Health
Maneesh Sahani   UCL Gatsby Unit
Mike Shadlen   University of Washington
Shy Shoham   Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Alcino Silva   University of California Los Angeles
Wolf Singer   Max Planck Institute for Brain Research
Irini Skaliora   Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens

Invited Moderators

In addition to our expert speakers, we have an august list of session moderators to keep the discussions lively and interesting.

Kenneth Blum   Harvard University
Erin Schuman   MPI for Brain Research
Gilles Laurent   MPI for Brain Research
Eilon Vaadia   Hebrew University of Jerusalem
J. Anthony Movshon   New York University

Organizing Committee

Idyllic Setting Nicholas Hatsopoulos, Co-Chair
John Pezaris, Co-Chair
Andreas Tolias
Yiota Poirazi
Thanos Siapas
Catherine Ojakangas

Local Organizers

Nike Makris
Erika Berry
Josh Markey

The Myth of Ariadne

Looming Island We take the conference name from the title, 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 to the door, unwinding the rest as he navigated the Labyrinth, so that after slaying the Minotaur, he could easily escape by following the thread back to the entrance.

Et Cetera

The language of presentation will be English.

Abstract submission is closed. Abstract notifications have all been sent.

Registration has closed.

Internet access will be provided at the Nomikos Conference Centre to only a very 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 Fira for emergencies and extended access. The response from our 2006 and 2008 attendees on this policy was overwhelmingly positive.

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 while he was a graduate student at the University of Chicago with Nicho Hatsopoulos.

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