Computational Neuroethological Approaches to Problems in Social Neuroscience

The burgeoning field of Social Neuroscience investigates the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the interactions that occur between individuals. Interest in this area has grown as social deficits have become recognized as a key component of several mental health disorders. A cornerstone of this field is the idea that understanding the neural activity, circuits and neurochemicals involved in processing social information and social rewards requires using stimuli and contexts that are more ethologically relevant than those traditionally applied in laboratory studies. However, natural stimuli and contexts are complex, so that designing controlled experiments and interpreting the data can be difficult. This is where computational neuroethology can make tangible contributions. This workshop highlights examples across species where using computational and/or quantitative methods in addressing problems in social neuroscience has helped advance our understanding of the neurobiological and evolutionary mechanisms underlying social interactions.

The Workshop is part of the annual Computational Neuroscience meeting (CNS 2012), and is organized by Robert Liu (Emory) and Elizabeth Buffalo (Emory), and supported by contributions from the Center for Translational Social Neuroscience, the Emory Department of Biology and the Emory Computational and Life Sciences Initiative.

Confirmed speakers include:

Bruce Carlson (Washington University)

 Decoding of temporal information in social communication signals

Eric Fortune (Johns Hopkins)

 Wired to cooperate: Neural mechanisms of duet singing in wrens

Asif Ghazanfar (Princeton)

 Vocal communication emerges and evolves through coupled oscillations

Katalin Gothard (University of Arizona)

 Decoding social signals from neural activity in the monkey amygdala

Hans Hofmann (University of Texas at Austin)

 Modules, Circuits, and Networks: Making sense of data across levels of organization and over evolutionary time

Warren Jones (Marcus Autism Center)

 Entrainment of adaptive action in typical two-year-olds and disruptions thereof in autism

Robert Liu (Emory)

 Neural mechanisms of communication from the system to sub-cellular scale

Michael Platt (Duke)

 Neuronal basis of giving and receiving

Larry Young (Emory)

  Introduction to social neuroscience


There is some space at the Workshop for poster presentations during a dedicated session. To be eligible for one of the available slots, abstracts must be submitted by the deadline below in PDF or Word format, following the CNS abstract guidelines ( Submissions should be emailed to with the subject “CNS Workshop Abstract”.
To help us plan, please indicate your interest in attending the Workshop by sending an email with the subject “CNS Workshop RSVP”.
June 8, 2012: Abstract submission deadline EXTENDED
June 19, 2012: Notification of acceptance
July 6, 2012: RSVP
July 25, 2012: Workshop

July 25, 2012: Workshop

The Workshop (CNS 2012 W2) will run from 9 AM to 5:30 PM with a break for lunch between 12:20-2PM. It will be held in the Mary Brown Bullock Science Center, Room 210E, on the Agnes Scott Campus. There is some limited free parking for local attendees at the West Parking Deck of South McDonough Street. Please carpool.

Download the Brochure with Schedule and Poster Abstracts 

Download the Flyer

Download the Map of Agnes Scott College

Download Local Info for attendees