The CoNeCTome, the 16th annual retreat of the computational and systems neuroscience community at UW (formerly the Neural Computation and Engineering Connection), was held on May 13 and 14 on the University of Washington’s Seattle Campus. The two-day symposium, held with generous financial support from the Shanahan Family Foundation, as well as the Computational Neuroscience Center (CNC) and the AccelNet International Network for Brain-Inspired Computation, featured talks by neuroscientists from local institutions including UW and the Allen Institute, as well as renowned guests from Stanford, Indiana University, the University of Toronto, and the Salk Institute. Postdoctoral scholars and graduate students from the Computational Neuroscience Center presented talks, panel discussions, and poster sessions at the symposium. CONECT, the joint student group of the CNC and the Center for NeuroTechnology, hosted an ethics discussion about the responsibilities of the scientist in controlling outcomes of research. A closing panel discussion featured UW and Allen scientists discussing the state of the art and future prospects for connectomics, the emerging science mapping detailed brain connectivity in many species.

An evening screening and post-viewing discussion of Werner Herzog’s Theater of Thought concluded the CoNeCTome. A number of UW researchers, including Rajesh Rao, Eberhard Fetz, Sara Goering and Christof Koch, joined Herzog in his quest to understand “What is a thought?”, and the implications of advances in neuroscience and artificial intelligence. This year’s event was a great success, and we hope you were able to attend!