Words from Honorary Presidents

Prof. Ryuta Kawashima

Dear Brain Connectivity Community:

I am delighted to invite you to Sendai for 5th Workshop on Brain Connectivity. Sendai is called "The Capital of the Forest" surrounded by beautiful natural settings loved by poets and scholars. Here, we are going to have a workshop for the frontier of human science. A unique characteristic of this workshop is the synthesis of breakthroughs over theoretical neurosciences at different levels (i.e. neuronal networks, molecular biology, etc.), and applied neurosciences (i.e. neuroimaging, cognitive neuroscience, etc.). The neuroimaging techniques can figure out the functional maps of human brain in relation to higher cognitive functions, therefore, they are indeed powerful tools for cognitive neuroscience. However, it is also true that current neuroimaging techniques cannot identify the brain dynamics. In order to explore functional organization of the human brain, which is the one of the main targets of the neuroscience research, it is obvious that unfolding developments for new bridges between modeling and neurophysiological measures, including neuroimaging, are necessary. We, therefore, will emphasize the role of modeling to create links between computational neurobiology and neuroimaging in this workshop. We look forward to an exciting workshop in Sendai, following up the great success of the previous workshops up to Boca Raton in 2005.


Ryuta Kawashima

Professor, MD
Advanced Science and Technology of Materials
NICHe, Tohoku University

Prof. Kawashima's group organized the Human Brain Mapping in 2002


Prof. Shun-ichi Amari

It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the Workshop on Brain Connectivity. The brain is a highly complex organ composed of an enormous number of neurons, which are very densely inter-connected. Not only an astonishingly capable information system vastly different from modern computers, the brain is also surprisingly the organ from which minds emerge. Minds have the ability to influence so much of an individual's and a society's growth and experience. Therefore, it is important to understand how brain and mind work. Such work would improve human welfare of and enrich our quality of life-both issues that extend well beyond academic interest. In fact, it is interests from various social perspectives that understanding the brain has become one of the hottest topics in 21st century science.

To pursue a better understanding of the human brain a wide range of interdisciplinary methods and approaches are required. These range from the microscopic levels of molecular and cellular studies to an increasing complex networks and systems to observations of behavior. All of which is needed to integrate experimental, technological and theoretical approaches. Regardless of our primary research, the making of connections plagues our investigations. Connection, I suggest, is the only keyword to brain science. Connections integrate and unify the brain. Without connection, the organ would simply be a collection of tissues functioning independently, and probably not very efficiently. Think about the chaos that ensues in cities or airports when power outages or communication breakdowns inhibit social connectivity. Suddenly the importance of our brains' inter-connective properties starts to become alarmingly clear.

This workshop will focus on that essential brain connectivity and present state-of-the-art investigations to understand how connection functions and emerges in the brain. Topics include results from innovative anatomical, functional, modeling and imaging studies. The role of modeling in creating links among experimental neurobiology, computational neuroscience and neuroimaging will also be a fundamental part of this workshop.

Sendai is a beautiful, peaceful Japanese city. It is surrounded by forests and has deep roots in culture and science. As you participate in this workshop, I hope that the academic seeds that are planted here will take root in future collaborations and partnerships that continue to deepen brain science's investigative connections.


Amari, Shun-ichi

RIKEN, Brain Science Institute
Group Director Brain-Style Computing Group
Laboratory Head Mathematical Neuroscience

Professor-Emeritus of the University of Tokyo