Your next story idea awaits at Neuroscience 2018


SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Meet world-renown neuroscience experts and dive into the latest research on topics including the complex effects of cannabis on the brain, consequences of early-life stress, and decoding the adolescent brain. Register for Neuroscience 2018, November 3-7 in San Diego, California, to attend in-person or to report remotely by watching live-streamed press conferences and accessing our online press room of embargoed content.

Register for Neuroscience 2018

This year's meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) will bring together nearly 30,000 attendees and feature more than 13,000 scientific presentations that will explore the newest neuroscience research, methods, and technologies. Credentialed media receive complimentary registration and access to top neuroscientists, embargoed press materials, and special events, providing a variety of news and feature possibilities.

11 Live-Streamed Press Conferences

From Persistent Loneliness to Solitary Confinement: The Effects of Social Isolation
November 4, 9 a.m. PST

As social animals, our health depends on interactions with others. Yet millions suffer from chronic isolation, and solitary confinement is the extreme example. Solitary confinement has been ruled as cruel and unusual punishment by the United Nations Committee on Torture. Yet in the US some 80,000 spend days, even years, experiencing absolutely no physical contact with others. Studies of solitary confinement can potentially provide insight into less extreme examples such as assisted living, nursing homes, and persistent loneliness. Implications of solitary isolation will be discussed with a neurobiologist, a psychologist, a physician, a lawyer, and an individual held in solitary confinement for 29 years.

A Look at How the Brain Processes Social Interaction
November 4, 10:30 a.m. PST

How the brain processes social information influences our responses, our lives, and those around us. Using a variety of methods, neuroscientists are developing a clearer picture than ever before of how the animal brain processes social information, potentially helping us better understand a range of disorders defined by deficits in social functions. These recent findings provide important insight into social disorders manifesting in aggression, disorders of social learning, and other dysfunctions that affect individuals' social interactions.

Gene Therapy Research Explores New Applications for Neurological Disorders
November 4, 12 p.m. PST

For people living with neurological disorders– such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Batten's disease — that dramatically impact lifespan or quality of life, identifying new treatment options that are both safe and effective could be life-transforming. Gene therapy is an experimental technique that involves altering specific genes to treat or prevent disease. Research shows that altering specific genes could offer hope for treatments of neurological diseases that are currently incurable.

The Life-Altering Consequences of Early-Life Stress
November 4, 2 p.m. PST

Recent studies are revealing that stress ranging from the womb to early life can impair overall neural development and potentially cause mood and cognitive problems later in life. Researchers are discovering more about mechanisms through which early-life stress disrupts brain development and leads to potential disorders, which may help reveal new therapeutic strategies to combat the effects of such stress.

The Threats of Sleep Deprivation
November 5, 9 a.m. PST

Sleep deprivation is a growing public health threat in an increasingly 24-7, constantly connected world. New research looks at the role of healthy sleep and circadian rhythm regulation in the brain and the impact that aberrant sleep-wake cycles may play in the pathology of conditions. Researchers will discuss the potential role of sleep-focused therapies in helping to prevent and/or treat Alzheimer's disease, anxiety disorder, and other diseases of the brain.

Uncovering the Role of Exosomes in Cell Communication
November 5, 11 a.m. PST

Exosomes– small bubbles of cell membrane that break off from cells and carry their content to other cells–have gained increased attention in recent years. New studies reveal that they may have wide-ranging and long-term effects in the brain and throughout the body, from cell communication to passing the effects of stress onto the next generation. Exosomes that are released from the brain into the blood can provide a window into brain pathology to help with disease diagnosis and may ultimately provide the key to unraveling the mystery of how information is transferred between cells.

The Adolescent Brain: Wired for Addiction, Anxiety, and Depression
November 5, 2 p.m. PST

Adolescence is a period of increased vulnerability, risk-taking, and reward-seeking behavior. Understanding how the brain's reward system changes during teenage years could help identify youth at risk of mental health disorders and substance abuse. Research highlights new findings in adolescence-specific neurological causes of such conditions and increases the potential for early treatments before serious symptoms erupt.

New Strategies for Identifying Causes of Vascular Dementia
November 5, 3:30 p.m. PST

The aging of populations around the world has escalated the need to identify effective strategies to prevent, treat, and manage diseases such as vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Vascular dementia refers to a decline in thinking skills resulting from impaired blood flow to the brain. New research sheds light on the relationship between white matter inflammation, cardiovascular exercise, biomarkers, and vascular dementia. This opens doors to further discovery in understanding the process of neurodegeneration and potentially allows for early interventions.

AI Helping Hands and Eyes
November 6, 9 a.m. PST

Brain-Machine Interfaces are important for improving the quality of life for people with disabilities. Next generation prosthetic devices may soon be ready for everyday use outside the lab. Researchers will present a new generation of brain-machine interfaces — systems that bypass damaged nerves to restore communication between the brain and body — one of which is already being used by an amputee at home. These advancements in connecting neural stimulation to physical control of the body are transforming the development of prosthetics and therapeutic training.

The Complex Effects of Cannabis on the Brain
November 6, 11 a.m. PST

The legalization of marijuana is on the rise. According to the World Health Organization, about 147 million people worldwide have been reported to consume cannabis. Marijuana exposure can range from resulting in disrupted learning during adolescence to improving memory and mitigating effects of Alzheimer's during old age. New research sheds light on the complexity of cannabis and the different effects it may have across the lifespan.

Opioids: A Look into Relapse, Withdrawal, and Addiction
November 6, 2 p.m. PST

More than 2 million people in the U.S. are now addicted to opioids. More than 100 die from related overdoses every day. Recent findings reveal that aspects of opioid addiction, including relapse, withdrawal and risk, can be successfully modeled in rats. These findings open the door to more research on addiction that can translate to humans with the promise of more effective preventions and treatments.


Media are required to register for credentials. Visit for more information.

The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of nearly 36,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.

Media Contact

Lauren Wingfield
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