Well we asked if you would be interested in attending a conference on auditory and language neuroscience and the answer was a fairly resounding YES. More than half of Talking Brains survey responders said they'd attend regularly, and another 32% said they'd attend occasionally. Apparently, there is a decent amount of interest in this kind of conference.
It turns out that Andrew Lotto (Arizona), rockin' the Kiss shirt in the photo at left, and Julie Liss (Arizona State), not rockin' a Kiss shirt in the photo on the right, have been holding small-scale meetings with a focus rather nicely in line with our interests, namely their Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience Society meeting. I attended the ACNS meeting this last January and was impressed by the unique format that promoted lots of discussion and a great deal of interaction among people of differing views and approaches. Andrew and Julie were foolish enough to let me and David get involved in developing their society/meeting. We are still in the planning stages, but here is what the four of us have on the table so far...
First, we decided a name change was in order. Current favorite: Auditory and Language Neuroscience Society (ALNS). We want the meeting to include folks who study language (broadly construed to include everything from motor control of speech to sentence comprehension to sign language) as well as auditory perception in both human and animal. We are considering an annual meeting that will bounce between East and West U.S. coasts. To date we have a governing board that includes (besides Hickok, Liss, Lotto, & Poeppel) F. Guenther, L. Holt, W. Yost, and R. Zatorre, with more invites in the works.
The current plan is to have the inaugural meeting in sometime during the 2010/2011 academic year. Stay tuned for more information. We welcome your comments, of course!