Neuroscience 2012 press program features latest brain science news

August 29, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- New research about the brain and related disorders will be unveiled at Neuroscience 2012 in New Orleans, Oct. 13-17. Findings will include how the brain weighs complex decisions; progress being made in treating Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury; and novel understanding of how life experiences, diet, and sleep influence brain health and wellness.

Neuroscience 2012 is the annual meeting of the SfN and -- with more than 31,000 attendees -- the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

"The research presented at Neuroscience 2012 is part of the latest progress in understanding how the brain and nervous system develops and works -- and how it breaks down," said SfN President Moses Chao. "Each year, the meeting showcases new tools and valuable information about the brain -- from understanding learning and behavior to how the brain adapts or is ravaged by disease and disorders," Chao said.

Renowned artist Chuck Close, noted for his highly inventive techniques used to paint the human face, speaks about his "life as a rolling neurological clinic" and his artwork during the "Dialogues between Neuroscience and Society" lecture. A National Medal of Arts awardee, Close produced his iconic portraits while coping with serious impairments of his body and brain.

Credentialed media receive complimentary registration, access to a working press room, meals, and live streaming of press conferences held Sunday, Oct. 14, through Tuesday, Oct. 16. Press conference topics include:

The Social Brain
People make thousands of decisions each day, from simple choices, to social judgments about ethics and morality. Explore new research being released that bridges the gap between social psychology and neuroscience to better decipher how the brain weighs complex social decisions and environments.

Early Interventions for Alzheimer's Disease
Diagnosing Alzheimer's disease currently relies on logging mental decline over time, potentially long after the disease has wreaked havoc on the brain. What if we could detect Alzheimer's disease before symptoms start? Learn more about emerging research that is helping spot initial changes in the diseased brain. What critical clues could help diagnose, delay, or prevent disease onset and suggest new avenues to treat the disease?

Teenagers experience many emotional, social, and behavioral changes that can feed into great personal growth as well as increased risk for depression, drug experimentation, and impulsivity. Could these attributes be hardwired in the brain? New research investigates how the adolescent brain functions, and how critical development periods can alter brain health and wellness.

"Invisible" Wounds: From Soldiers to Citizens
New research addresses the "invisible" wounds of war, such as traumatic brain injury and suicidal depression. What do these findings tell us about the immediate and long-term impact of brain injury? What are the implications for injuries among athletes and the general public?

The Power of Facial Communication
What makes a face such a powerful mode of communication? With small changes in expression, it can comfort, question, threaten, or spark deep emotion. How do we learn as babies to mimic others, and as adults, to evaluate faces at a glance? New brain research explores the complex circuitry involved in processing and interpreting facial expressions.

Early Life Experiences
Our "formative years" are indeed building blocks for life. Recent findings show that early life trauma, such as poverty or physical abuse, can have a dramatic effect on the brain into adulthood. What does new research tell us that might help guide interventions?

Additional press conference topics are: Presidential Special Lectures feature: Other meeting events highlight the interplay between brain research and global culture, politics, and society: Register and find more information about the meeting at
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of more than 42,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system. More information about the brain can be found at, a public information initiative of The Kavli Foundation, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and SfN.

Society for Neuroscience

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