Baycrest and Berkeley join forces to present the 20th Annual Rotman Research
Institute Conference - The Frontal Lobes - March 22-26, 2010

World's top brain experts meet in Toronto, starting today!

TORONTO, March 22 /CNW/ - Many of the world's top brain scientists are at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this week for a global conference on the frontal lobes.

Hosted by Baycrest and the University of California at Berkeley, the conference comes around every 10 years. It features world-renowned keynote speakers and over 40 presentations from scientists who are advancing our understanding about the role of the human frontal lobes in aging (from childhood to late life), the devastating disorders that can disrupt this highly evolved but vulnerable region of the brain, and the way forward for therapeutic interventions and cognitive rehabilitation.

More than 600 scientists, clinicians and academics are attending the five-day meeting.

Situated behind our forehead, the frontal lobes are a big part of what distinguishes humans from other primates. Our ability to reason, plan, prioritize, problem-solve, empathize, understand others' intentions, control our impulses, pay attention, understand humor, use language and think creatively, are largely associated with this area of the brain.

The frontal lobes essentially set the brain system up to work in an integrated manner. And when things break down, there's a good chance the frontal lobes are involved!

"Exciting new experimental findings are beginning to reveal how human thought and action unfolds with sub-second precision," said Dr. Robert Knight, conference co-chair and director of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. "These findings provide the roadmap for understanding both normal human behaviour and how it goes awry in neurological, psychiatric and developmental disorders."

Dr. Knight and conference co-chair Dr. Donald Stuss (Baycrest) say the last decade has been a gold mine of new knowledge and given rise to emerging fields such as social neuroscience, neuroeconomics, neuroscience and the law, neuromarketing and neurorehabilitation.

Scientists are making tremendous progress in understanding how aging affects the frontal lobes and how genes and environment may influence how this process unfolds differently for each individual. The frontal lobes are also implicated in several disorders, including schizophrenia, ADD, sociopathic personality, depression and frontotemporal dementia.

Media wishing to attend the conference can register on-site at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W.

Conference itinerary:

Press kit material: and click on the conference brain "icon" on homepage.

SOURCE Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care

For further information: For further information: or to set up interviews with scientific speakers, please contact: Kelly Connelly, Senior Media Officer, Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest, On-site pager at conference: (416) 612-5494, Email:

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