Building the brain: from genes to circuits and cognition

Artistic representation of neurobiology
19 November, 2015 - 20 November, 2015

Royal Society, London

General Information

Science Programme Podcast with Bill Richardson

The aim of this conference is to discuss current progress on the genetics underlying the formation and function of the brain. In contrast to other contemporary conferences, a comparative and hence evolutionary perspective will be applied to review recent findings from major phyla of the animal kingdom to uncover conserved or divergent genetic mechanisms underlying the functional anatomy of the brain: from genes to circuits and cognition. To this aim, the program of invited speakers comprises a balance of specialists using non-model as well as classical invertebrate and vertebrate model organisms. Speakers have been chosen to cover the following areas: – Functional anatomy of the brain: Genetics and evolution: Evolutionary origin of the central nervous system and of brain modules; comparative anatomy of the brain; cellular organisation and cell number control; neural circuit topology; identification and visualization of circuits in action; experience-dependent structural plasticity and circuit remodelling. – Genetics of behaviour and cognition: Genes, cell lineages and the emergence of innate circuits and behaviors; adaptive motor behaviour; aggression and social behaviour; attention and decision making; genetics of language; learning and memory.

Genetics Society Medal: Alan Ashworth, UCSF, USA

Meeting organisers:

Alicia Hidalgo, University of Birmingham, UK
Frank Hirth, King’s College London, UK


Pasko Rakic, Yale, USA Detlev Arendt, EMBL, Germany
Benny Hochner, Hebrew University Jerusalem, Israel
Corinne Houart, King’s College London, UK
Richard Benton, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Rui M Costa, Champalimaud Center for the Unknown, Portugal Gaia Tavosanis, Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Germany
Gerhart Schratt, Marburg, Germany
Sten Grillner, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
Patrick Callaerts, VIB Laboratory of Behavorial and Developmental Genetics, Belgium Liliana Minichiello, University of Oxford, UK
Bruno Van Swinderen, University of Queensland, Australia
Birte Forstmann, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands Gene Robinson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Dianne Newbury, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, UK
Martin Heisenberg, University of Wuerzburg, Germany