The Neurobiology of Cognition is a recently-inaugurated Gordon Research Conference designed to foster convergence of traditional neuroscience investigations with more recent developments in systems, cellular and molecular neurobiology, engineering and imaging, and computational sciences. Cognition is construed broadly to embrace empirical findings in a range of species including humans, and there is a strong focus on integration of findings and principles across species and levels of analysis.
In the opening Keynote Session, two leading neuroscientists with provide an experimental and computational perspective on the recent initiative, termed Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN). This initiative, spearheaded by the President and the National Institutes of Health, is aimed at developing innovative methodologies to study how complex systems of neurons interact in time and in space during complex behaviors. Along with recent findings in a few traditional "core" areas, formal sessions will then explore several new themes, including: 1) the neuroanatomy and 2) coordination of cognitive circuits in the brain, 3) motor cognition and brain-computer interfaces, 4) music and language, and 5) learning and plasticity. The program juxtaposes human psychophysical, neuroimaging, and electrophysiological studies with parallel investigations in rodents and non-human primates, and with computational approaches that explicate empirical findings and construct robust, detailed models to represent the developing picture and guide future experimentation. The program also underscores novel experimental and theoretical approaches that promise to define fundamental principles that guide and integrate the understanding of cognition at a fundamental level, and to extend these to improved treatment of brain dysfunction. The format of the meeting promotes intensive interactions among investigators and trainees from different perspectives and analytic levels, and in particular, between experimentalists and theorists. There is a linked Gordon Research Seminar for trainees, most of whom also attend the conference.