Dr. Sitaram organizes the International Conference on Functional Imaging and Neurofeedback in Gainesville

International Conference on Real-time Functional Imaging and Neurofeedback
February 12-13, 2015
University of Florida, Hilton Hotel and Conference Center

The University of Florida has been selected to host the annual international conference on Real-time Functional Imaging and Neurofeedback (rtFIN 2015). The event will bring together neuroscientists, engineers, computer scientists and clinicians who practice all modalities of brain imaging and are engaged in the research and application of brain machine interfaces (BMIs) and neurofeedback.

Neurofeedback is a novel approach used in brain research and treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, stroke, and chronic tinnitus. It’s a technique that includes communicating information back to the patient; it does not involve medication.

The two-day event will keynote speeches, presentations and technical workshops, as well as a tour of the McKnight Brain Institute’s high-field brain imaging facility. It is open to faculty, researchers and students.

“We are grateful to have the conference here on the UF campus, and that there was unprecedented consensus that our biomedical engineering department should be the host,” said Ranganatha Sitaram, a professor in UF’s J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering who is serving as the conference chair. “This is a group that has the vision and means to advance the way we look at, understand, and – when necessary – restore the brain and its functions.”

In addition to the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, several other departments and centers are participating in the conference: the McKnight Brain Institute, the Brain Rehabilitation Research Center, NIHM Center for Emotion and Attention, the Center for Cognitive Aging and the Department of Radiology. All of these are located within walking distance of each other, which appealed strongly to the conference organizers.

“Hosting this conference further highlights the importance of brain research on our campus and how committed UF scientists and engineers are to making an impact across the globe,” said Christine Schmidt, professor and chair of the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering. “Brain research is a national priority, and our neural engineering experts – along with their neuroscience colleagues from other units on campus – are taking a leadership role, reaching out to work collaboratively with scientists all over the world.”

The first conference of its kind was held in Switzerland in 2012. It brings together about 150 international researchers. This is the first time it is being held in Gainesville.