My thanks to all those who participated in SAN2014 in Utrecht making it an exceptionally strong scientific occasion. This built on the successes of the previous meetings held in Thessaloniki, Seville, Swansea, Istanbul and a Dubrovnik workshop. Following the tradition of meeting with other organisations, in Utrecht SAN met with The Netherlands National Initiative Brain and Cognition. This contributed greatly to the success of the occasion.
Previous meetings had been held in collaboration with the EU COST B27 initiative Electrical Neuronal Oscillations & Cognition, and in case of SAN2011 with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the South-East European Research Centre, and participating Greek Societies including the Hellenic Societies of Neuroscience, of Biomedical Engineering, and of Neurophysiology, and the Psychological Society of Northern Greece.
The conference dinner was held in the exhibition centre alongside a NASA exhibition, and the space theme was extended with a presentation of Professor Guy Chevron's research on weightlessness involving a Dutch astronaut.
At the dinner Mrs Corinne Evens of the Evens Foundation and Professor Patrick Cras, the chairman of the jury, presented the award of the Foundation's 2013 scientific challenge: 'the neuroscience of empathy' - to the submission by Gruzelier, Sadler, Ros and Klimecki. The research will examine the effect of alpha desynchronisation feedback on an empathic concern task in an fMRI scanner.
While the submissions did not match the number in Greece, in Utrecht attendance increased by 50% to reach around 300 attendees, and the growing strength of the submissions reflected the exponential increase in publications in the field since Thessaloniki, especially research on neurofeedback.
The notable increase in young scientists in the field, that was seen in the attendance at SAN2013 in Thessaloniki, was complemented in Utrecht by empirical studies showing their keen awareness of key issues in cognitive neuroscience, which are necessary to advance the field.
The meeting also saw a welcome increase in the number of scientists willing to put their shoulders to the wheel and support the running of the Society, which has fallen on just a small band of dedicated scientists and practitioners up until now. There are currently quite a wealth of new initiatives that are under consideration to broaden the reach of the Society and its structure. These will be the subject of a Newsletter in forthcoming weeks. There is likely to be a return to warmer Mediterranean shores for the next SAN meeting, tentatively scheduled for September, 2015.
In conclusion special thanks to Martijn Arns, the conference-organiser-in-chief, assisted by Leon Kenemans for the NIBC, and Panos Bamidis, Soren Andersen and Manos Klados for SAN, and to the various organising committees.
President, Society of Applied Neuroscience
Following the two open meetings at SAN 2011, Thessaloniki, five special issues in neuroscience journals were initiated.
The first on BCI, based around the workshop organised by Matthias Treder was published online in August in the Journal of Neural Engineering, volume 9, number 4 with 12 manuscripts.
M.S.Treder, 2012, Special section on Gaze-independent Brain-Computer Interface. J Neural Engineering. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/9/4/040201.
Neuroscience & Biobehavioural Reviews.
The second is in progress with Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews guest co-edited by John Gruzelier, Fabio Babiloni, Dirk de Ridder, Panos Bamidis. This encompasses theoretical and review contributions with 16 submissions.
A third has been invited by Biological Psychology as a themed issue on Neurofeedback with guest co-editors John Gruzelier and Geert van Boxtel. 18 empirical contributions and commentaries are under review or are to be submitted.
International Journal of Psychophysiology.
A double issue on Applied Neuroscience is underway with the International Journal of Psychophysiology structured around Psychobiology with John Gruzelier, Tomas Ros, Miriam Reiner as guest co-editors and 17 submissions, and structured around Development and Pathology with John Gruzelier, Lynda Pagani and Panos Bamidis as guest co-editors and with 15 submissions.