Neuroscience is a rapidly developing area of science which has benefitted from the blurring of interdisciplinary boundaries. This was apparent in the range of papers presented at this year's Neuroscience Ireland Conference, held in Galway during August 2008. The event was attended by academics, postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers, scientists from industry and clinicians. The themes of this year's conference, neurodegeneration, neuroregeneration, pain, glial cell biology and psychopharmacology, were chosen for their reflection of areas of strength in neuroscience within Ireland. in addition to basic science, translational research also featured strongly.