Linking neural dynamics and coding: correlations, synchrony, and information (10w5102)


Brent Doiron (University of Pittsburgh)

(University of Houston)

(Boston University)

(University of Ottawa)

Alex Reyes (New York University)

(University of Washington)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Linking neural dynamics and coding: correlations, synchrony, and information" workshop from October 3 to 8, 2010.

Understanding the mechanisms by which the nervous system represents and processes information is a fundamental challenge for mathematical biology. This challenge is compounded not only due to the brain's massive scale (100 billion neurons!), but because the information carried by neural tissue can be much more or much less than the sum of the parts contributed by individual neurons. In other words, the cooperative features of neural responses can be essential.

This poses a pair of theoretical questions for the mathematical sciences: What are the basic mechanisms by which cooperative activity can emerge from the dynamics of neural networks? What are the consequences of these mechanisms for information processing and coding? The BIRS Workshop "Linking neural dynamics and coding: correlations, synchrony, and information" gathers international experts applying three approaches to these questions: dynamical systems, statistical mechanics, and information theory. The participants will spend a week sharing their latest research, and studying new opportunities for synergy among their approaches and disciplines.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the US National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONACYT).