Every two years, neuroscientists from all over France gather to exchange knowledge, present their research findings, and engage in discussions on the latest advancements in the field. This year, the highly anticipated NeuroFrance 2023 conference took place on May 24-26th in Lyon, the capital of the Gauls, offering a vibrant scientific program and exciting opportunities for collaboration.
After the virtual event in 2021, the neuroscience community eagerly embraced the return of an in-person conference, allowing researchers to reconnect face-to-face and establish new connections. NeuroFrance 2023 did not disappoint, offering a diverse range of activities and sessions to cater to the diverse interests of attendees.
The conference kicked off with the opening lecture "Human-specific genetic modifiers of cortical circuit development and function" by Franck Polleux, PhD, from Zuckerman Institute - Columbia University. Then it continued with parallel symposia held in different auditoriums, covering a wide array of neuroscience topics. The symposium "Early experiences and adversity on brain development in human and nonhuman primates: effects from perinatal period to adulthood" held in Auditorium Lumière explored the impact of early-life experiences on brain development. In Auditorium Pasteur, the symposium "Theoretical and computational approaches in neuroscience: Emergence and low-dimensional representation in brain network dynamics" delved into the application of computational models to understand complex brain processes.
New perspectives on brain oscillations during sleep
One of the highlights of the conference was the symposium proposed by the Société Française de Recherche et de Médecine du Sommeil (French Society for Sleep Research and Medicine) titled "New perspectives on brain oscillations during sleep". Chaired by Laurent Seugnet, the symposium delved into the fascinating realm of sleep neuroscience, shedding light on the role of brain oscillations during sleep and their implications for brain function and health.
The symposium featured a diverse range of sessions presented by esteemed speakers from various countries, each offering valuable insights into the field. Here is a summary of the sessions:
Session 1: Conscious experiences and high-density EEG patterns predicting subjective sleep depth
Speaker: Aurélie M. Stephan (CH)
Session 2: Neural dynamics in cerebello-hippocampal circuits during sleep
Speaker: Thomas Watson (GB)
Session 3: Unusual sleep patterns in wild penguins
Speaker: Paul-Antoine Libourel (FR)
Session 4: Oscillatory coherence regulating behavioral responsiveness in sleepy brains in Drosophila
Speaker: Davide Raccuglia (DE)
Session 5: Is Paradoxical Sleep A Paradoxical State Of Sleep?
Speaker: Flore Boscher (FR)
These sessions provided a platform for researchers to present their latest findings and discuss the intricate mechanisms underlying brain oscillations during sleep. From exploring subjective sleep depth prediction to uncovering neural dynamics in specific brain circuits, the symposium showcased the cutting-edge research being conducted in the field.
Cutting-edge research on neurodegenerative diseases
For those interested in cutting-edge research on neurodegenerative diseases, the symposium "Spreading in neurodegenerative diseases: from physiopathological mechanisms to clinical applications" held in Auditorium Lumière presented the latest findings on disease progression and potential therapeutic targets. Chaired by Mounia Chami, the symposium brought together experts in the field to discuss the mechanisms underlying disease spreading and explore potential clinical applications.
The symposium featured a series of informative sessions, each focusing on a specific aspect of disease spreading and its implications. Here is a summary of the sessions:
Session 1: Alpha-Synuclein aggregation and propagation in synucleinopathies, influence of the structure of aggregates
Speaker: Nolwen Rey (FR)
Session 2: Complexity of tau spreading among tauopathies: from cell mechanisms to therapeutic strategies
Speaker: Morvane Colin (FR)
Session 3: APP-CTF oligomerization and exosomal spreading in Alzheimer's disease models
Speaker: Inger Lauritzen (FR)
Session 4: Role of tunneling nanotubes in the spreading of amyloid proteins in neurodegenerative diseases
Speaker: Chiara Zurzolo (FR)
Session 5: Unraveling The Cell Specific Function Of P2X4 Receptor In ALS Pathogenesis And Its Potential Use As A Biomarker
Speakers: Sara Carracedo (FR), E. Bertin, C. Quilgars, A. Fayoux, C. Riffault, G. Le Masson, S. Bertrand, E. Boué-Grabot
This session involved a collaborative effort between researchers from the University of Bordeaux and Stanford University, highlighting the multidisciplinary nature of the symposium.
These sessions provided a comprehensive overview of the mechanisms involved in the spreading of pathological proteins in various neurodegenerative diseases. From exploring alpha-synuclein aggregation to investigating the role of tunneling nanotubes, the symposium shed light on the complex processes underlying disease progression.
Exploring EEG Applications: Poster Presentations and Symposia
In addition to the parallel symposia, NeuroFrance 2023 featured poster presentations, allowing researchers to showcase their work and engage in discussions with their peers. The poster session "Quantitative EEG as a biomarker of neurodepressant effects of industrial solvents in Long-Evans rats" presented by Estefania Bernal from INRS explored the use of quantitative EEG as a potential biomarker for assessing the impact of industrial solvents on brain function. Another intriguing poster presentation titled "How negative emotions influence cognition: an EEG study in arithmetic" by Paola Melani from the Centre de Recherche de l'Ecole de l'Air examined the influence of negative emotions on cognitive processes.
For those interested in the application of EEG technology, NeuroFrance 2023 offered several sessions that explored different aspects of EEG research. The symposium "Cognitive and emotional state monitoring through passive brain-computer interfaces" chaired by Raphaelle N. Roy featured talks on using EEG to monitor cognitive and emotional states and its potential applications in brain-computer interfaces. Another session titled "Sharing an open stimulation system for auditory EEG experiments using Python, Raspberry Pi, and HiFiBerry" presented by Alexandra Corneyllie discussed the development of an open-source EEG stimulation system.
The symposium on theoretical and computational approaches in neuroscience, specifically focusing on computational modeling of epilepsy, provided valuable insights into the diagnosis and prognosis of epilepsy. Led by Chair Huifang Wang, FR, the session featured a talk by Speaker John R. Terry, GB, who explored the intriguing question: "Is normal EEG really normal?"
Another session within the realm of theoretical and computational approaches was dedicated to non-invasive neurostimulation. Chaired by Axel Hutt, FR, this session delved into the topic of EEG origin under transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in the context of psychosis. Josephine Riedinger, FR, offered valuable insights into the intricate relationship between tDCS and psychosis.
NeuroFrance 2023 also provided opportunities for young researchers to connect and seek mentorship through mentoring sessions organized by the Young Researchers' office. These sessions aimed to support early-career scientists in navigating the field of neuroscience and establishing fruitful collaborations.
In addition to the scientific program, NeuroFrance 2023 featured a trade exhibition where attendees could explore the latest tools, technologies, and services in the field. This exhibition provided a relaxed atmosphere for researchers to continue their conversations and discover new resources.
The second day the conference culminated with the General Assembly and Awards Ceremony.
As the third day of NeuroFrance 2023 unfolded, participants experienced an array of captivating sessions. From the enlightening presentation on the neuroendocrine key to brain aging, to the intriguing problem-solving insights in slime molds, and the exploration of immune dysfunction in psychotic disorders, the conference continued to captivate and inspire.
Throughout the day, parallel symposia delved into diverse topics such as prefrontal cortex research, microbiota's role in socioemotional behavior, theoretical and computational approaches in neuroscience, evolution of motor circuits, state-dependent neural plasticity, mechanisms for local regulation of axonal biology, and the revisiting of cortico-basal ganglia circuits. These symposia provided a platform for in-depth discussions and knowledge exchange among experts in their respective fields.
The day also featured enriching poster presentations, where researchers showcased their work and engaged in insightful discussions. The posters covered a wide range of topics, including the use of quantitative EEG as a biomarker for neurodepressant effects of industrial solvents, the influence of negative emotions on cognition through an EEG study in arithmetic, and many more thought-provoking studies.
As the curtains closed on NeuroFrance 2023 in Lyon, participants departed with a renewed sense of inspiration and motivation. The conference served as an invaluable platform for fostering collaboration, sharing knowledge, and celebrating the remarkable progress and advancements in the field of neuroscience. With new connections formed, ideas exchanged, and perspectives broadened, researchers left Lyon carrying the momentum of NeuroFrance 2023, eagerly anticipating the future of neuroscience.
Looking ahead, the next edition of NeuroFrance, NeuroFrance 2025, will take place in Montpellier. This vibrant city will host the gathering of passionate researchers, scientists, and professionals dedicated to pushing the boundaries of neuroscience and driving innovation. NeuroFrance 2025 in Montpellier promises to build upon the successes of its predecessor, providing an exceptional opportunity to delve deeper into the complexities of the brain, forge meaningful collaborations, and shape the future trajectory of neuroscience.