AREADNE 2018 Logo   AREADNE 2018
Research in Encoding And Decoding of
Neural Ensembles

Nomikos Conference Centre
Santorini, Greece
20-24 June 2018
  AREADNE Brain Labyrinth Logo


The organizing committee of AREADNE 2018 would like to warmly thank each of the meeting participants in all their varied roles for contributing to an overwhemlingly exciting and intellectually invigorating event. This part of the web site now holds the archival material from the conference.

The final scientific program is available as a PDF download from

Please cite the program as: N. G. Hatsopoulos, J. S. Pezaris (editors) Proceedings of AREADNE 2018, Santorini, Greece, 20-24 June 2018, published by The AREADNE Foundation, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA,

Information on past (and future) AREADNE conferences can be found at

Site Overview

Introduction (scroll down)
Important Dates
Call for Abstracts
Poster Information
Travel Information
Hotel Information
Practical Information
Restaurant Information
Additional Activities
Frequently Asked Questions
Scholarships and Resources for Travel Grants
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.

Caldera Table 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

Nomikos Entrance The 2018 conference will take place on the Greek island of Santorini from Thursday through Sunday, 21-24 June 2018, with an informal Welcome Reception the evening before the start of scientific presentations (that is, the evening of Wednesday, 20 June 2018). 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 are selected primarily from the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.

Submission of Poster Abstracts

We anticipate being highly oversubscribed for 2018 as in the past, 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, but are highly limited in number. Should you wish to attend AREADNE 2018, we strongly recommend preparing a poster abstract.

Registration and Fees

White Labyrinth Conference fees are USD 450 for students, USD 650 for post-docs / staff members, 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. The presenting author for each accepted poster will have one registration spot reserved for them. After the allocation for poster presenters, there are very few registration spots left available for non-presenters. 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.

Registration has closed. We have sold out!

Refund Policy. If you have registered but will be unable to attend, a full refund of the paid fees will be given until 20 May 2018, a 50% refund will be given from then until 6 June 2018, and no refund will be given after 6 June 2018.

Important Dates

2018-01-08  Abstract submissions open
2018-02-09  Abstract submissions close
2018-03-16  Abstract notifications sent (delayed due to snow storms in New England)
2018-04-12  Registration opens
2018-06-06  Registration closes
2018-06-20  Conference Welcome Reception (late PM)
2018-06-21  Conference opens (early AM)
2018-06-24  Conference closes (late PM)
2018-06-24  Conference Banquet Dinner (late PM)

Attendees should plan to arrive in Santorini by 20 June 2018 (or the day before, especially for intercontinental travelers), and depart on or after 25 June 2018.


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, 20 June 2018 (or the day before), and depart Monday, 25 June 2018.

We suggest booking your hotel room as early as possible.


Fuscia Garland 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 at a local restaurant on the final day of the conference. Costs for these meals are included in the conference fee for participants; guests are encouraged to the Welcome 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, Travel to Santorini, and Santorini Guide.

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.


Yellow Church 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 from the Athens airport, or from the port of Rafina, about 20 mintues by taxi from the 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.

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 invited speakers, presenters of accepted poster abstracts, and registered attendees.


White Gate 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 on Santorini no later than Wednesday, 20 June 2018 (or the day before for intercontinental travelers), and departure no earlier than the following Monday, 25 June 2018.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018
  19:30-22:00   Welcome Reception (wine, beer, light snacks) and registration

Thursday, 21 June 2018
  08:30-09:30   registration
  09:30-12:30   lectures and coffee break
  12:30-14:00   lunch
  17:00-21:30   lectures, coffee break, and poster session

Friday, 22 June 2018
  09:00-12:30   lectures and coffee break
  12:30-14:00   lunch
  17:00-21:30   lectures, coffee break, and poster session

Saturday, 23 June 2018
  09:00-13:00   optional archaeological and geological excursions
  17:00-21:30   lectures, coffee break, and poster session

Sunday, 24 June 2018
  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   Gala Banquet (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 confirmed speakers include many global luminaries in the field of Computational and Systems Neuroscience.

Davi Bock   HHMI Janelia Farm
Elizabeth Buffalo   University of Washington
Sophie Caron   University of Utah
Sydney Cash   Massachusetts General Hospital
Marlene Cohen   University of Pittsburgh
David Foster   Johns Hopkins University
David Freedman   University of Chicago
Julijana Gjorgjieva   Max Planck Institute for Brain Research
Alex Huk   University of Texas, Austin
Jennifer Linden   University College London
Nikos Logothetis   Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
Jason MacLean   University of Chicago
Gero Miesenboeck   University of Oxford
Mala Murthy   Princeton University
Camillo Padoa Schioppa   Washington University St Louis
Barry Richmond   National Institute of Mental Health
Nicole Rust   University of Pennsylvania
Alcino Silva   University of California, Los Angeles
Alan Stocker   University of Pennsylvania
Karel Svoboda   HHMI Janelia Farm
Kerry Walker   Oxford University
Joni Wallis   University of California, Berkeley


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

Kenny Blum   Harvard University
Robert Desimone   MIT
Georgia Gregoriou   University of Crete
Daniel Margoliash   University of Chicago
Leslie Osborne   University of Chicago
Stephanie Palmer   University of Chicago
Tatiana Pasternak   University of Rochester

Organizing Committee

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

The Myth of Ariadne

Church and Roof Decorations 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 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 2018, 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 2005-2017 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.

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