By Nils Muhlert
“The times, they are a-changing.” Dylan’s lyrics from the early 1960s reflected that era’s mass societal upheavals. But now, with increasing realization of the impact of climate change, with a once-in-a-generation response to the dangers of a pandemic, those words ring truer than ever. Life is definitely moving apace. But our work in trying to understand the structure and function of the human brain continues. These efforts to improve scientific methods, make more accurate insights and accelerate the communication of that work remains.
In this vein, this week sees the inaugural OHBM equinox (OHBMx) twitter conference. On Friday 20th March, scientists from across the globe will present their work. This twitter meeting evolves from the Brain Twitter Conference, which has run annually from 2017. It complements the annual OHBM meeting, but with talks delivered by a series of tweets under the conference hashtag #OHBMx.
There will be keynote speakers, including Lucina Uddin, Michael Breakspear and Laura Lewis. There will be abstract presentations on the genetic origin of structural covariance, the neural correlates of olfaction, using fNIRS to study mother-child problem solving, and examining whether deep learning outperforms standard machine learning techniques in brain imaging, amongst many, many others. And the best thing – attendance is not only free, but the conference can be accessed from anywhere with internet connections. That could be your office, a local café, or wherever your current social distancing policy allows.
OHBM is a community. Through OHBM, and academia more generally, we meet and work with people from all corners of the Earth. As we face unprecedented times, seeing that community in action will offer both a welcome distraction from world events and genuine insight into the state-of-the-art from many different brain mapping modalities. We hope you join us there.
Follow the virtual twitter conference using the #OHBMx hashtag from 2am (UTC) on Twitter. For more information on the what, when and how of OHBMx, please see this blogpost from the key organiser of OHBMx, and OHBM Chair-Elect, Aina Puce.