Neuroscience 2014, the 37th Annual Meeting of the Japan Neuroscience Society, will be held at Pacifico Yokohama over a three-day period from September 11 (Thursday) to September 13 (Saturday), 2014.

The organizer of this event, the Japan Neuroscience Society, was founded in October 1974 with the aim of promoting the field of neuroscience in Japan. The Society held its first annual meeting in 1978 and has since then grown to become a forum in which neuroscientists in fields ranging from fundamental to clinical neuroscience have the opportunity to present their findings and exchange information about their research. Originally established with just 70 members, the Society changed to current name in 1991. Now with more than 5,800 members (as of May 2013), the Society has developed into a society representing Japan’s neuroscience community.

The Society will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014. Wanting participants to come away with a real sense of the power of neuroscience, which still holds infinite possibilities for development in the future, we have chosen “Neuroscience Will Change the World” as the theme for Neuroscience 2014. Significant progress is currently being made towards breakthroughs in neural circuitry and better understanding of high-order functions. For example, new techniques for cell imaging with fluorescent proteins, generation of iPS cells and optogenetics are being developed to advance the understanding of the nervous system at the molecular, cellular and neural circuit levels. MRI, PET and other types of image analysis have accelerated the neuroscientific understanding of humans, while genome science has provided a means for discovering the pathogenic mechanisms of not only hereditary but also sporadic neurological diseases. To allow members of the Society to experience for themselves how “Neuroscience Will Change the World,” we have invited six of the top researchers from Japan and abroad who are at the cutting edge of this academic discipline to give plenary and special lectures.

The Society has also made the most progress of any academic society in Japan towards making English the official language thanks to the strong will and all-out efforts of its members. As a result, we have begun to see many general participants from neighboring countries at our meetings. To promote further participation by foreign researchers, we are working on a plan to co-host an event with other neuroscience societies in Asia. Another major goal of our Society is to increase participation by clinical neuroscientists and neurological disease researchers. As part of our efforts toward achieving this goal, we will be conducting joint program with the Japanese Society of Neurology at this upcoming event.

Meanwhile, as the shift towards specialization continues, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get a complete view of system neuroscience, molecular neuroscience and clinical neuroscience. Therefore, to foster a new generation of neuroscientists with a broader vision, as well as to contribute to the lifelong learning of all generations of neuroscientists, we would like to focus on enriching our educational programs.

Finally, due to an increase in venue fees and other local circumstances, we have decided to shorten the duration of our annual meeting in 2014 to three days. Please be assured, however, that we will do everything in our power to deepen the content of this meeting and ensure that it will be as fulfilling as those in any other year.

I look forward to seeing the cheerful faces of all our members in Yokohama in September 2014.

Ryosuke Takahashi
The 37th Annual Meeting of the Japan Neuroscience Society
Department of Neurology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine

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