AREADNE 2020 Logo   AREADNE 2020
Research in Encoding And Decoding of
Neural Ensembles

Nomikos Conference Centre
Santorini, Greece
16-20 June 2020
  AREADNE Brain Labyrinth Logo


Although AREADNE 2020 did not have the traditional and inspirational face-to-face gathering, to recognize the hard work that gets put into poster abstract writing, submission and review, we have published a book containing all of the accepted abstracts in a form analogous to the normal program.

The abstract book is available as a PDF download from

Please cite the program as: J. S. Pezaris, N. G. Hatsopoulos (editors) Proceedings of AREADNE 2020, Santorini, Greece, 16-20 June 2020, published by The AREADNE Foundation, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA,


One of the fundamental problems in neuroscience is to understand how the activation of ensembles 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 fifty 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.

Cactus and Caldera Recent technological advances have provided new glimpses into the global functioning of the brain. These technologies include multi-microelectrode array electrophysiology, optical imaging and stimulation, functional magnetic resonance imaging, high-density electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography, and genetic manipulation. These technologies have expanded our knowledge of brain functioning beyond the single neuron level into the realm of ensembles.

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 or 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.

Organizing Committee

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

The Myth of Ariadne

Olives on Tree 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.

Και τα λοιπά (Et Cetera)

Abstracts of accepted poster abstracts are published in the conference book that is available as a downloadable PDF after the meeting. Copies from previous meetings are available on our archives page.

To be sent important email announcements about AREADNE 2020, please add yourself to the Google Group for Official AREADNE Announcements.

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

Photographs on this site were taken on Santorini 2005-2019 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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