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Human Brain Mapping Conference 2011 ~ Quebec City!

June 26, 2011

Once a year, people who are “brain-crazy” gather to talk about neuroscience, and how we understand the brain through the increasingly detailed window of technology. In 2011, the Annual Meeting for the Organization for Human Brain Mapping is being held in Quebec City. Over 1000 research projects are being presented, with courses and keynote speakers sharing their knowledge. Areas represented range from neuroimaging, neurology, neuroscience, and psychiatry, to social neuroscience, psychology, and studies of emotion, motivation, and higher cognitive functions.

I flew in to Quebec City tonight. From my current view, the city’s twinkling lights unfold across the horizon, some bound in by the walls of the old city that ribbon across the landscape below. Charm seems to diffuse through the air, from the grace of the curving cobblestone streets to the elegant illuminance of the tall pillared lights at the gates.

Speaking of charm, and the art of perceptual pleasure, the meeting has a satellite event of interest to the artistically-inclined: the Cirque du Cerveau Gala and associated art exhibition. Winners of the newly developed Brain-Art Competition will be announced. A group show of Neurocartographies will also be displayed as part of the event.

In terms of the conference as a whole, Quebec City certainly is a splendid and social host city! Complimentary breakfast starts off the educational courses tomorrow, followed by evening receptions, a social events for post-docs, the art gala, and finally a club night. In addition, there are also eight satellite conference events, from the art events mentioned above, to neuroimaging symposia, to innovative brain treatment courses.

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Stay tuned for a synopsis of key highlights at the end of the conference, including any comments or interest around the poster I am presenting on behalf of my very cool research team, The Hotel Study research group at the BCMHARI (British Columbia Mental Health and Addictions Research Institute). The Hotel Study, led by Dr. William Honer, Dr. Bill MacEwan, and Dr. Donna Lang, characterizes an Inner City Population to a great level of detail. The hope is that the suffering of this population can be alleviated via better understanding of their physical and mental health. To date, the study is excited to report an unusually high percentage of follow-up over the last two years. This fact raises the question of a possible benefit of research activities to under-served populations. Part of The Hotel Study includes neuroimaging, which is what is being presented at the conference this week (see poster below).

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