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Basolateral amygdala may play a larger, overarching role during naturalistic events

Study provides insights into how early life events can affect brain wiring patterns

The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a region of the brain that has been almost exclusively studied in the context of fear and emotion. Only recently have researchers begun to question whether the BLA may play a larger, overarching role in memory and behavior. Yet almost nothing is known about the neuronal activity of the BLA during naturalistic behavior.

To address these questions, neuroscientists at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre at UCL observed the neuronal activity in this brain region while rats freely engaged with a variety of different ethological stimuli. Interactions with ethological stimuli are relevant to the animal’s survival and to the propagation of its genes, and include food, prey and conspecifics. In a new study, published today in Cell Reports, the researchers demonstrate strong responses to these classes of events in the BLA.

The naturalistic stimuli in this study were important to the animals in their everyday life and the rats were naturally curious to interact with them. They included complex multisensory stimuli like male and female rats, food and a moving toy mouse.

Traditionally, research has focused on studying the BLA in rats during trained tasks. Instead, we wanted to observe neuronal activity while rats were freely behaving to see if we could find an overarching role for the BLA during natural behavior that might tie together the previous lines of research.” 

Cristina Mazuski, Research Fellow in the O’Keefe Lab, Sainsbury Wellcome Centre and lead author on the paper

Using Neuropixels, Mazuski and O’Keefe simultaneously recorded from hundreds of neurons in the rat BLA and correlated single-cell neural activity with complex behavior to identify different classes of cells within the BLA that respond to the ethological stimuli. They identified and described two novel categories of cells in the BLA; event-specific neurons, which responded to only one of the four classes of stimuli, and panresponsive neurons, which responded equally well to most or all of the stimuli.

Strikingly, 1/3 of the cells showed an active memory response: not only did the neural response last throughout the entire event but it continued after the end of the event for many minutes. The authors speculate that these after-responses might be acting as a memory system telling the rest of the brain that an important event had just occurred and perhaps alerting other brain regions to store information about other aspects of the event and the circumstances surrounding it.

Commenting on these aspects of the results, Prof. O’Keefe, the senior author on the paper, said “These findings position the basolateral amygdala at the center of the social/ethological brain and open up a whole research program investigating what other naturally-occurring stimuli the rest of the (normally silent) BLA cells are interested in. They also direct our attention to the memory functions of the amygdala which have not, to date, received sufficient consideration”.

As the researchers were recording from many neurons simultaneously using Neuropixels probes, they were also able to look at the circuit connectivity. By delving into the correlated activity between different single neurons, they could infer the flow of information from more-specific neurons such as those responding to female rats or food to the less-specific panresponsive neurons.

“This initial study opens up a lot of future avenues for research. The next steps are to find out what the responses are sensitive to, how robust they are and confirm whether they play a role in memory,” concluded Cristina.

This research received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 840562 to Cristina Mazuski, the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre Core Grant from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and Wellcome Trust (090843/F/09/Z), and Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellowship (Wt203020/z/16/z) to John O’Keefe.


Journal reference:

Mazuski, C & O’Keefe, J., (2022) Representation of Ethological Events by Basolateral Amygdala Neurons. Cell Reports.

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Event Management Software Industry Worth $14+ Billion by 2026 | Global Market Research Report, 2022 | Gamification of Events to Engage a Larger Audience –

Event Management Software Industry Worth $14+ Billion by 2026 | Global Market Research Report, 2022 | Gamification of Events to Engage a Larger Audience -

DUBLIN–()–The “Event Management Software Market with COVID-19 Impact, by Component (Software (Event Registration and Ticketing, Content Management) and Services), Deployment Mode, Organization Size, End User and Region – Global Forecast to 2026” report has been added to’s offering.

The Global Event Management Software Market is forecast to grow from USD 7 billion in 2021 to USD 14.1 billion by 2026, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.9% during the forecast period.

Event management software helps organizations keep track of all of their event’s moving parts to help their event run more smoothly. It also facilitates organizations to automate various processes, including sourcing, coordination, event planning, venue management, expense tracking, marketing, and data analysis, throughout the life cycle of their events. This helps enterprises manage these processes from a centralized platform, enabling them to improve their operational processes and increase their marketing leads from events.

By Component, the Services segment to grow at the higher CAGR during the forecast period

By Component, the Services segment is expected to grow at a higher growth rate during the forecast period. Services are necessary for easy deployment, integration, and proper functioning of the software. The services segment has been further segmented into professional services and managed services. Rising pressure on event management service providers to stay competitive in the market leads to improved quality of service being provided to the customers.

By Services, the Professional Services segment to hold the larger market size

The Professional Services segment is expected to hold a larger market size. These services include deployment and integration, consulting, and support and maintenance services. The professional services provide an expert level of deployment, integration, consulting, and support and maintenance services for the proper installation of a specific software either on-premises or over the cloud.

By Deployment Mode, Cloud segment to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period

The Cloud segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Cloud-based solutions are provided directly through cloud-deployed network connectivity. These solutions help reduce the overall costs while providing highly flexible and scalable access to event management solutions through the IT infrastructure hosted by cloud service providers.

Research Coverage

The Event Management Software Market is segmented by Component, Deployment Mode, Organization Size, End-user, and Region. A detailed analysis of the key industry players has been undertaken to provide insights into their business overviews; solutions and services; key strategies; new product launches and product enhancements; partnerships, acquisitions, and mergers; agreements and business expansions; and competitive landscape associated within the Event Management Software Market.

The following key vendors are profiled in the report:

  • Cvent (US)
  • Aventri (US)
  • Eventbrite (US)
  • Ungerboeck (US)
  • Hopin (UK)
  • XING Events (Germany)
  • Bizzabo (US)
  • Certain (US)
  • RainFocus (US)
  • ACTIVE Network (US)
  • Eventzilla (US)
  • Meeting Evolution (US)
  • EventMobi (Canada)
  • Zoho (India)
  • Regpack (US)
  • EventBooking (US)
  • Bitrix24 (US)
  • Arlo (UK)
  • webMOBI (US)
  • Tripleseat (US)
  • Hubilo (US)
  • Circa (US)
  • Hubb (US)
  • Accelevents (US)
  • Glue Up (US)
  • idloom (Belgium)
  • Eventdex (US)
  • Event Temple (Canada)
  • Whova (US)
  • Airmeet (US)

Market Dynamics

  • Drivers

    • COVID-19: A Catalyst to Accelerate the Adoption of Virtual Events
    • Rise in Demand to Manage Large Volumes of Data and Automate Event Management Tasks
    • Compelling Need to Save Time and Money with Real-Time Data Analysis
    • Increase in Demand to Capture Actionable Business Insights from Events
    • Growth in the Use of Social Media for Event Marketing
  • Restraints

    • Difficulty in Integrating Event Management Software with Business Systems
    • High Initial Cost Associated with Event Management Software
  • Opportunities

    • Gamification of Events to Engage a Larger Audience
    • Growth in Inclination Toward Adoption of AI and ML in Event Management
  • Challenges

    • Wide Gap Between Organizers’ Offerings and Attendees’ Needs
    • Lack of Awareness of Event Management Software

Case Study Analysis

  • NEC Corporation Showcasing Proven SaaS Solutions to Customers Through Virtual Events on the Cvent Platform
  • HLB Designed a Virtual Event with Aventri Virtual Event Platform
  • Glassdoor Used Hopin for Its First Fully Virtual Sales Kickoff
  • Acronis Scales Their Hybrid Event Strategy with Bizzabo

Premium Insights

  • Growing Demand for Event Management Software Solutions Would Tackle High Demand from Event Organizers and Planners
  • Software to Account for a Larger Market Share During the Forecast Period
  • The Support and Maintenance Segment to be the Largest Market During the Forecast Period
  • On-Premises Deployment to Account for a Larger Market Share During the Forecast Period
  • Large Enterprise Segment to Account for a Larger Market Share During the Forecast Period
  • Event Organizers and Planners Segment to Account for the Largest Market Share During the Forecast Period
  • Asia-Pacific to Emerge as the Best Market for Investments in the Next Five Years

For more information about this report visit

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More inclusivity at Wednesday Market could create larger event

More inclusivity at Wednesday Market could create larger event

The city’s downtown market will have a new look this year.

For the first time the brick-and-mortar businesses surrounding the Wednesday Market will be allowed to participate in the event, without any cost.

The downtown core businesses can set up small displays — tables, booths or racks — outside of their businesses during the Wednesday Market at no cost in order to capitalize on the increased traffic on market days by showcasing their wares. The displays would be limited in size to the linear frontage of the business.

The opportunity will be provided to all businesses in the downtown core, thereby creating an area that is broader than the market area.

Nelson director of corporate services Sarah Winton said in previous years where the farmers’ market was located on Baker Street, vendor stalls and tents were positioned facing outwards towards the road, while customers walked down the middle of the street with vendor stalls facing in.

Three years ago vendor stalls were turned to face toward store fronts, meaning people could walk down the sidewalk and could access both vendors and stores.

“This ensured that the brick-and-mortar businesses were visible and accessible to pedestrians and not hidden by vendor stalls,” said Winton in her report to council on May 3. “It also redirected pedestrian traffic to ensure they walked alongside brick and mortar business and vendor stalls rather than just the latter.”

Winton said there was positive feedback from businesses regarding that change.

A successful farmers’ market is a market that satisfies not only the needs of vendors and its customers, but also of the brick-and-mortar businesses in the downtown core, she explained. And participation from downtown businesses could result in a more “robust” market experience for everyone.


Location approved

In April city council gave third reading to a proposal to move the Wednesday city farmers’ market to the 600 block of Baker Street and the Hall Street Plaza.

At the May 3 meeting council adopted the bylaw that permanently positioned the market — that has bounced around for years along Baker Street and even to Cottonwood Park, in the plaza — to the area specifically designed to host such events.

The market had bounced around for years, said Nelson and District Youth Centre manager Jordan Martin — the youth centre manages the market for the city — and when Hall Street was re-furbished several years ago the intent was to create a space that could host a market.

“This location had a number of clear benefits as the central location drew a significant number of residents and visitors, furthering the ultimate goal of directly connecting residents to local food producers and artists,” she said in her report to council.

The Youth Centre had conducted a ThoughtExchange soliciting the community’s input on the location of the Farmers’ Market for Wednesday market days.

The pandemic forced both the Saturday and Wednesday market locations to migrate from Baker Street to Cottonwood Falls Park, alleviating challenges that businesses and the City of Nelson were facing due to the pandemic (e.g., social distancing, space constraints, entry and exit points, COVID-19 safety planning and cleaning protocols).

“While the Cottonwood Falls Park location does provide a desirable location for the Saturday market, it has proven challenging for the Wednesday Market,” said Martin. “The Wednesday market more heavily relies on ‘mid-week traffic’ from residents who can stop in at the market as part of their workday.”

However, Cottonwood does not draw as many people on a Wednesday since it is not in the downtown core.

“The Saturday market does not appear to have this problem as people are more easily able to make the market their main destination,” Martin explained in her report.

The results indicated that the general community and key market stakeholders would prefer a more central location within or close to the downtown core for the Wednesday Farmers’ Market

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Clinic marks Health Wagon’s return to larger public events

Clinic marks Health Wagon’s return to larger public events

WISE — Zion Family Ministries’ activity and kitchen spaces were busy on Wednesday as the Health Wagon got back to business with its annual late winter free clinics in Wise and Clintwood.

Health Wagon President and Executive Director Dr. Teresa Tyson said Wednesday’s event marks a pair of shifts for the more than four-decade-old organization that got its start as a small mobile exam van based in Dickenson County.

Wednesday’s clinic was the first of the late winter events since 2019, when COVID-19 forced Health Wagon staff to stop mass events for fear of the disease’s spread, Tyson said.

While the organization continued with smaller community visits and appointments at its Wise and new Clintwood main offices, she said the past two years have been a balance between public safety and continuing to serve a region facing a range of health care challenges.

Tyson said the clinic’s new name — Move Mountains Medical Mission — also marks a rebranding after two decades working with Tennessee-based Remote Area Medical on annual summer free clinics in Wise County. RAM officials in 2019 acknowledged that the Health Wagon had developed a range of partnerships and regional support allowing RAM to support other health care efforts across the U.S.

COVID-19 screening was the first step for patients at Zion Family Ministries on Wednesday, but Tyson said that was not the only stage for dealing with the disease.

“One of the many things we’re doing is giving COVID shots and boosters and flu shots,” Tyson said. “The Coeburn Economic Development Authority gave us $500, and we’re using that to incentivize people to get vaccinated by putting their names in a drawing for cash prizes. That really helps because vaccinations are our best defense against the virus.”

Even though Tyson and her staff felt the pandemic situation had become safe enough to resume mass clinics like Wednesday’s event, the clinic and Thursday’s event in Clintwood were advertised as appointment-only by calls to the Health Wagon’s Wise and Clintwood offices. Tyson said the new system has helped spread out people onsite for health and safety.

While a pre-pandemic clinic would draw 150 to 200 people for services including physical exams, chest X-rays, pap smears, regular vaccinations, ultrasounds, prescription services, Medicare enrollment help and health education, Wednesday’s clinic still saw more than 100 patients.

Local attorney Brett Hall, working as a volunteer runner at Wednesday’s clinic, said he owed it to Move Mountains because Health Wagon medical staff probably saved his life when he contracted COVID-19 a second time despite being vaccinated.

“They were able to give me monoclonal antibodies when I showed symptoms and I was much better the next day,” Hall said.

Dr. Joe Frank Smiddy, who has operated the Health Wagon’s radiology van and provided chest X-ray services for its events, said COVID-19 has added an extra dimension to what had been a longtime focus on helping diagnose the region’s residents with COPD and black lung.

“Before COVID we were dealing with coal workers, COPD and asthma, people with lung fungus and smoking,” said Smiddy. “Immediately, when COVID hit, we knew that some of the COVID patients would have underlying lung disease and we started doing chest X-rays. If we could improve their lung health, they could deal with COVID better if they got it.”

Smiddy said “long COVID” — symptoms that infected patients face after recovering from the disease — pose another challenge for Health Wagon staff and other health care providers. While some long COVID symptoms can be neurological, Smiddy said some symptoms can be treated medically or by exercise and good health practices.

The Health Wagon’s X-ray and lung services can help patients determine if they can return to work or if they may be medically eligible for services such as Medicaid or Social Security disability, Smiddy added.Smiddy and Tyson said that Move Mountains Medical Mission’s partnership with the Virginia Dental Foundation’s Mission of Mercy dental care events in Southwest Virginia will continue. Tyson said the Health Wagon has applied to participate in a summer program where armed forces medical teams practice emergency deployments by offering human medical care and veterinary services for pets. She said the 2019 program was a success, with people coming to get pets treated and vaccinated leading to many getting needed medical care for themselves too.

“We’re excited about what we can do, we’re excited that it’s free health care, and we’re excited that it’s the Health Wagon,” said Smiddy.

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Revised street closure policy targets safety at larger events

Revised street closure policy targets safety at larger events

Newton Fire Chief Jarrod Wellik on Feb. 21 shared details of the city’s revised street closure policy for larger public events, which may require organizers to fill out applications. The fire chief told council members the goal of the updated policy is to provide a safe environment for all attendees and event holders.

“I think sometimes what people don’t realize is, as an organizer of a larger event where you’re going to have people that are going to be operating in enclosed conditions or in closed streets or they’re going to be operating on the public right-of-ways, there is liability that comes with that,” he said at a recent staff report.

Minimizing liability exposure to the city is another reason staff wanted to revise the policy, which is still in its draft form and is not yet up for council approval. Some big events can carry liability towards the city if something goes wrong. Wellik cited a number of past events inside and outside of Iowa that have gone wrong and why it is important to have such a policy in place.

In 2011, the Indiana State Fair stage collapsed when a wind gust from an approaching storm toppled the roof structure, killing seven people and injuring almost 60 others. Wellik also referenced the November 2021 incident in which a driver allegedly drove his car through a parade route and killed six people.

“Any time you bring people together in tight spaces and they’re operating outside of their normal boundaries of how they operate on roads and so on, we inject that opportunity for something to happen,” Wellik said, also noting that staff would like to limit the impact to transportation in the community when events close streets.

Some occasions would require organizers to request a street closure, which do impede regular traffic. For instance, some streets in town serve as truck routes. When the city decides to close those pathways, staff have to designate new routes and they have to be signed appropriately, Wellik said.

Another aspect of the policy is communication. The city wants to keep all effected parties informed of events in their area. Wellik said staff frequently hear citizens say, “I didn’t know the street was going to be closed” or “I didn’t realize parking was going to not be available during this time.” A revised policy should help.

By filling out an application, too, authorities will have the contact information of organizers. Should something happen during an event, Wellik said public safety officials would be able to get in contact with organizers immediately and carry out contingency plans or mitigate a situation.

The city’s revised policy is intended to target events in excess of 200 people, specifically those that are not contained on private property. Churches that may have larger gatherings on their property, for example, would not be affected unless organizers need use of city right-of-ways.

By having the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Wellik said it has allowed city staff to learn a lot of lessons about how to manage larger scale events.

“We’ve learned some pretty good lessons out there about weather and how it impacts people and how long it takes people to get to shelter and so on,” he said. “Go back to when RAGBRAI was here … We had a storm that moved in and we had to make a decision as it approached. We decided to shut things down.”

It wasn’t a very popular decision, Wellik added, but it is one of those decisions made for the sake of safety. Pre-planning allowed organizers to shuttle people to shelters, at least the ones who chose to take the city up on its offer.

Wellik showed a draft copy of the street closure application, which is intended to be submitted 90 days in advance of the event. If organizers plan greater than 60 days in advance the fee is $25; if it is submitted less than 60 days in advance but still greater than 45 days the fee increases to $100; less than 45 days is $250.

“So there is good incentive here to make sure you’re planning well in advance of these events,” Wellik said.

If the city is given less than 30 days notice for a street closure, Wellik said it is going to be more difficult to plan and it is likely staff would recommend organizers to schedule it for next year. A single application can be submitted for events with multiple dates, such as the Newton Farmers Market or Thunder Nites.

Applications require organizers to submit contact information, start and end times, setup and tear down times, how many people are anticipated to attend and what type of audience they are expecting. Staff also want a map of the event to better understand the impact to the community.

“We want to make sure we’ve got those things identified that need to be completed,” Wellik said.

The city also has a temporary no-parking consent form, which would require organizers to gather signatures from people residing 125 feet from the street closure. Wellik said the city is looking for at least 75 percent approval from the adjacent property owners.

Parking plans will need to be defined, and barricading of streets will have to meet the standards set by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). If not, Wellik said it opens up the city to liability issues. Complex barricading may require organizers to use contractors.

Wellik said the city still wants more input from partner groups and other agencies that are more likely to be affected by the policy. He also stressed the policy’s emphasis on larger events, and not events like block parties – although the city does have a policy for residential block parties.

“None of this really applies to neighborhood block parties, unless you want to close six or eight blocks and do a real knock-down-drag-out where you’re going to affect half the town — that might be a little different,” Wellik said.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or