Quite in contrast to past years, when questions regarding the human brain had to be delegated to the study of animals, the human brain is now accessible in an unprecedented way: (1) Non-invasive imaging technologies generate information which is of fundamental importance for understanding the normal and dys-functional human brain and are invaluable for a better treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders; (2) Genomics and molecular biology have disclosed homologies between animal and human brains; (3) Databasing the brain has helped to disseminate research results.
However, the full benefit from these studies can only be attained in the context of a comprehensive understanding of the brain's structural/functional organisation. Today, this information is largely fragmented, excessively parochial and often contradictory. The current lack of knowledge of structure- function relationships impedes the cross-fertilisation of ideas from the fields of molecular biology, immunology, basic neuroscience and clinical disciplines, resulting in a less than optimal state, affecting potential discoveries and the affordability of these discoveries for the understanding of the mechanisms of brain function and the improvement of the health of citizens, including rehabilitation.
The proposed conference will bring together leading minds of contemporary neuroscience to establish a solid foundation for a credible consensus on structural/functional organisation of the normal and abnormal human brain. The conference participants will co-operate in deriving a state-of-the-art knowledge base of the "normal" human brain; they will discuss concepts regarding the functional interaction of brain structures and structural alterations associated with diseases of the brain. The fields of fundamental neuroscience and clinical neurology and rehabilitation will reciprocally benefit from each other.