Journal of Experimental Biology Symposium 2018:
Linking brain and behaviour in animal navigation
Organisers: Basil el Jundi, Almut Kelber, Barbara Webb
Date: 24-28 March 2018
Location: Cavo Olympo, Plaka Litochoro, Greece
Animals show impressive navigational abilities, whether returning to a close-by goal or migrating thousands of kilometres across entire continents and oceans. They move on their own or in large groups, and they can use visual landmarks, olfaction, magnetic maps, celestial cues and more, often integrated with internal cues for self-motion. Can we identify common navigational strategies used by animals? And how does the brain act as an animal’s internal navigation system?
Behavioural experiments on animals as varied as insects, bats and birds have revealed different navigational mechanisms, such as landmark memories, path integration and time-compensated compass orientation. Electrophysiological recordings, on the other hand, have given us an understanding of how potential cues for navigation are processed in the brain. State-of-the-art-techniques measure neural activity in freely behaving animals, and genetic methods can reveal the role of individual brain areas.
This symposium will highlight recent advances in our understanding of the physiological mechanisms underlying navigation in a vast array of organisms ranging from tiny insects to humans and robots. The comparative perspective will help to understand general principles and mechanisms underlying topics such as compass navigation, course control, odometry, spatial memory and group navigation. We will bring together investigators studying navigation on the behavioural and physiological level in order to unravel how neural processes and behaviour are linked during spatial orientation and navigation.
Organisers & speakers
Almut Kelber Lund University, Sweden
Barbara Webb University of Edinburgh, UK
Michael Dickinson California Institute of Technology, USA
Ila Fiete University of Texas A&M University, USA
Philippe Gaussier University of Cergy-Pontoise, France
Gabriele Gerlach Carl von Ossietzky University, Germany
Stanley Heinze Lund University, Sweden
Lucia Jacobs University of California, Berkeley, USA
James Knierim Johns Hopkins University, USA
Miriam Liedvogel Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Germany
Kenneth Lohmann University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
Christine Merlin Texas A&M University, USA
Nora Newcombe Temple University, USA
William Warren Brown University, USA
Martin Wikelski Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Germany
Matthias Wittlinger University of Freiburg, Germany
Thomas Wolbers German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Germany
Russell Wyeth St Francis Xavier University, Canada
Yossi Yovel Tel Aviv University, Israel
The symposium is open to invited speakers and delegates only. However, all presentations will be published as a special issue of Journal of Experimental Biology in early 2019.
Cavo Olympo is a 5-star luxury hotel and spa located in the region of Pieria in Northern Greece, 120 km from the city of Thessaloniki. Surrounded by ancient olive trees, it is set in a private cove on the Aegean Sea at the foot of Mount Olympus, throne of the ancient Greek Gods.
Steeped in history and natural beauty, the area provides a relaxed atmosphere that lends itself to work, dialogue and recreation.
The nearest international airport to the conference venue is Thessaloniki International Airport Makedonia (SKG), approximately 120 km. If you are unable to fly directly to Thessaloniki, you can transfer from Athens (50 minutes) or another European city. A full list of airlines that fly to Thessaloniki can be found here.
Transport (by taxi/minibus) will be provided from Thessaloniki airport to/from the conference venue (all flights must be confirmed by 1 February).
Alternatively, if you wish to drive to the venue, directions can be found here.
Please book your travel so that you arrive by 18.00 on Saturday 24 March (journey time from the airport is approximately 1.5 hours but allow extra time, where possible, as we aim to coordinate transport for flights arriving at similar times).
Earliest check-in time at the conference venue is 14.00.
Spouses/domestic partners are welcome to accompany invited delegates to the meeting (please note that the hotel does not allow guests under the age of 16). To cover the costs of the accommodation, catering and social event, the registration fee will be €330 (euros). The fee assumes two people sharing a double room and that accompanying persons will NOT attend the scientific sessions.
Registration fee (330 euros) for accompanying persons includes:
- Accommodation for four nights (24-27 March)
- Welcome Reception on 24 March
- Breakfast on 25-28 March
- Lunch on 25-27 March
- Dinner on 24-27 March (including conference dinner on 27 March)
- Social event on 26 March
The registration fee is payable direct to Cavo Olympo on check-out.
To register an accompanying person, please email us as soon as possible, and by 1 February 2018 at the latest. Charges may be incurred for cancellations after 12 March 2018.