Volume 20 - Issue 6

September 2016

Davide Amato, Editor-in-chief

Katherine Wright, Guest Editor

In This Issue...

  1. IBNS 2017: Why Hiroshima?
  2. A Brief History of Hiroshima
  3. Networking
  4. Symposia/Satellite Proposals Due Oct 15
  5. An Introduction
  6. Trending Science
  7. Member News

IBNS 2017: Why Hiroshima?

By Donald McEachron

The process for choosing a site for the annual meetings begins one or two years before the date of the meeting. A number of considerations are discussed by the IBNS Council as reported to them by the executive team. These factors include the strength of neuroscience community at the location; affordability and accessibility of potential meeting places as well a location which would stimulate further development of the Society in terms of attracting of new members from regions and countries which have been under-represented in past meetings and in the IBNS as a scientific association. This was certainly the case for Hiroshima, albeit in a somewhat different way. In the early days of the Society, there was significant participation from Japanese neuroscientists in the IBNS, due in part to the friendship between Dr. Yutaka Oomura and the Society’s founder, Dr. Matthew Wayner. Over the years, this representation has declined and it was felt by Drs. Steven Kent and Milkhail Pletnikov that the annual meeting represented an excellent opportunity to rekindle the close relationship between the IBNS and the Japanese neuroscience community. As the current president, Dr. Pletnikov also wanted to bring IBNS meetings to Asia in recognition of the rapid scientific development of the region and the strong presence of behavioral neuroscience, particularly in Japan.  

Japanese researchers have a made a significant impact on neuroscience in a variety of ways over the years. The Japan Neuroscience Society was founded with some 70 members in October, 1974 as a member of the International Brain Research Organization. The Society held its first meeting in 1978 and membership reached 1500 members by 1991 and over 5000 members by 2008. The Society fosters integration and collaboration across the many subdisciplines of neuroscience. Of particular note to members of the IBNS, the first International Congress of Neuroethology was held in Japan in 1986. Of the many Japanese neuroscientists who have made significant contributions to the field, Dr. Yutaka Oomura and Dr. Masao Ito will be very familiar to IBNS members.

Hiroshima City is a cosmopolitan city with a substantial history of serving the scientific community. In 1996, the 6th World Congress of Cardio-Thoracic Surgeons met in the city, and the 2001 Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologium (CINP) Regional Meeting was held here. Other scientific meetings and conventions held in Hiroshima City include the 18th Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers in 2003, the Collaborative Meetings on Health Informatics in 2009, the International Tribiology Conference in 2011, and the 17th World Congress of Psychophysiology in 2014. The International Behavioral Neuroscience Society will be privileged to join this group when it holds its 26th Annual Meeting in Hiroshima City.

A Brief History of Hiroshima
By Donald McEachron

Hiroshima City is the capital of the Hiroshima Prefecture and is the principle city in the Chugoku region of Honshu, the largest island in Japan. The name means broad or wide island and dates from 1589, when Terumoto Mori began construction of a castle on a delta in the region of the Ota River. However, the region's history extends far earlier with evidence of various settlements in the region dating from Japan's Jomon (13,000 - 300 BCE) and Yayoi periods (300 BCE - 300 CE). From the late Asuka period (538 - 710 CE) through the Nara period (710 - 794 CE), the Ritsuryo system of laws (based in part on Confucianism and Chinese approaches to law) prevailed throughout the region, replaced in the late 8th century by a more aristocratic organization with a number of manors and fiefdoms. From this time until the late 1800’s, the population grew as governance shifted from one clan to another. Following the Meiji revolution that replaced the existing sociopolitical and economic structure from 1871-1888, Hiroshima officially became one of the first cities of Japan on April 1, 1889. Improvements to both land and sea transportation facilities accelerated during the time of the First Sino-Japanese War (1894). That same year, in an extraordinary event, Emperor Meiji moved the Imperial Headquarters to Hiroshima Castle and the Imperial Diet was held, along with other official functions, in Hiroshima. In effect, Hiroshima became the functional, albeit temporary, capital of Japan. The city and region continued to expand in population and importance in both civilian and military terms until August 6, 1945 when a single act of war shattered the city and threatened to end this rich cultural history extending back over a thousand years.

However, history, combined with human courage, determination and tenacity, prevailed and Hiroshima City was reborn. This rebirth began only 4 years after the atomic blast on August 6, 1949, with enactment of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial City Construction Law. The economic expansion of Japan brought new growth to Hiroshima so that by 1957, the population had surged to 400,000 and by 1964, had grown to 500,000. On April 1, 1980, Hiroshima became the 10th government-designated city in Japan, 91 years after its original designation on April 1, 1889. In 1989, Hiroshima City celebrated that 100 years heritage as a city as well as 400 years since the founding of Hiroshima Castle. By 2010, the population had risen to an estimated 1.174 million.

Hiroshima City has continued to remember and honor its people and its heritage. The Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall - the Atomic Bomb Dome - was the closest building to the epicenter of the blast to partially survive. In December, 1996, the remaining structure was designated as a World Heritage site. In 2006, the main building of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was designated as a National Important Cultural Property and the Peace Memorial Park was selected as a National Place of Scenic Beauty.

By Donald McEachron

Young scientists and researchers often overlook the critical activity of professional networking. This is understandable – social networking is seldom covered in the traditional educational process, which typically focuses on developing subject matter expertise and the skills needed to undertake a successful research program. Statistics, experimental design, neuron function, neuroanatomy, etc. are all familiar subjects, but professional networking – what is that and why is it important?

Before the rise of professional journals, most scientific communication and collaboration came about through letters, meetings and other forms of personal contact. Researchers spoke to and with each other and shared their experiences to advance the state of knowledge in various areas. You might think that professional journals have eliminated the need for such contacts but that is not really the case. There are several reasons for pursuing professional contacts, especially via such venues as conferences and annual meetings. Some advantages are:

1) Increased awareness of cutting edge research. Research studies are often presented at conferences/meetings in their initial stages, before multiple replications and more formal publication. Attendance at such meetings allows the participants to sense the direction of a field and become acquainted with the latest ideas and techniques before the world at large. This can stimulate one’s own thinking in new and unique directions.

2) Better understanding of the reality of research. Although the methods section of a publication may summarize how an experiment was conducted, there are usually subtleties and nuances that are critical to the success of the research but are not thought relevant for publication. The only way to learn about these is from those involved in the procedures. Poster sessions are great opportunities to interact with the investigators and truly learn about how the studies were conducted.

3) New opportunities. In a similar way, new opportunities for employment, collaboration and/or funding may appear in an informal way during discussions and interactions at conferences or meetings. There is a clear advantage to getting in ‘on the ground floor’, so to speak, in such activities through personal contact, so one is prepared to take advantage of the opportunities when they arise.

4) Mentoring. No one should ever under-estimate how important mentoring is for a young scientist. Typically, mentoring is thought to be part of the laboratory experience, and thus first-hand, but contact with experienced researchers at conferences and/or meetings often generates excellent and collegial advice in a relaxed and informal setting.

5) Becoming known. In today’s research environment, there are many individuals competing for fewer and fewer opportunities. When faced with making difficult choices, people will often give preference to the known over the unknown. For example, if there are two finalists for a position who are of equal merit, the choice may come down to selecting an individual with whom one has had personal contact. The ability to put a face and personality to resume can make a real difference is the selection process.

Below are the impressions of two attendees to the 2015 IBNS conference in Victoria, Canada:

Sonata Yau
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Victoria

"It was my first time attending the IBNS annual meeting. The meeting was in right size for meeting people. The most impressive part was the poster presentations scheduled at night with free food and drinks provided. This provided great chances for the attendees to interact and exchange ideas about their research projects. I will definitely join the IBNS meeting again!"

Anthony Vernon
Lecturer in Neurobiology of mental diseases
King's College London

"I attended IBNS for the first time this year in Victoria. My overall impression was that this is a well-organized and very friendly meeting – the quality of the science on show was very good and there were many excellent discussions in the symposia I attended, including my own (Neuroadaptations to antipsychotics). The atmosphere of the meeting was friendly and informal and I would recommend my trainees to attend in future.”

Symposia/Satellite Proposals Due Oct 15

Symposia/Satellite Proposals are currently being accepted for IBNS 2017 in Hiroshima, Japan.  The deadline for proposal submission is October 15, 2016.  For more information and to make your submission, please visit IBNS 2017 Annual Meeting.


An Introduction

We would like to introduce our local organizing committee (LOC) members for IBNS2017 in Hiroshima on June 26-30, 2017.

This month, we introduce you to Honorary Advisor, Yutaka Oomura (Professor emeritus, Kyushu University) (Photo: Santa Fe, New Mexico, IBNS2005) is a pioneer to study feeding behavior and sexual behaviors, in particular focus on the integration of the hypothalamus and the limbic system. He has contributed the IBNS as Fellow and Council member (1993-1995).


Trending Science

In this column, we will share the latest research, interesting scientific articles and news you can use.

Stopping Exercise Decreases Brain Blood Flow
Neuroscience News, August 29, 2016
We all know that we can quickly lose cardiovascular endurance if we stop exercising for a few weeks, but what impact does the cessation of exercise have on our brains? New research led by University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers examined cerebral blood flow in healthy, physically fit older adults (ages 50-80 years) before and after a 10-day period during which they stopped all exercise. Using MRI brain imaging techniques, they found a significant decrease in blood flow to several brain regions, including the hippocampus, after they stopped their exercise routines. Read more.

Member News

In this column, we share news of our members' accomplishments, career advancement, awards and honors. Submit your member news to [email protected] for our next issue.

Edward Eisenstein and colleagues recently published a fascinating article on the development and application of behavioral metrics that can be applied to investigate phylogenetic relationships. Eisenstein, E.M., Eisenstein, D.L. and Sarma, J.S.M. (2016). An exploration of how to define and measure the evolution of behavior, learning, memory and mind across the full phylogenetic tree of life. Communicative & Integrative Biology, 9:3, e1166320, DOI: 10.1080/19420889.2016.1166320


Send your Member News to [email protected] for our next issue!

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