[visionlist] Excellence workshop ''Dynamical Network States, Criticality and Cortical Function'' (March 25-28, 2017 in Germany)

David Rotermund davrot at neuro.uni-bremen.de
Wed Jan 18 09:34:31 EST 2017

We would like to invite you to participate in our excellence workshop
“Dynamical Network States, Criticality and Cortical Function”. It will
take place March 25-28, 2017 at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg in
Delmenhorst (near Bremen, Germany).

Please feel free to forward the following information to anyone  who you
think may be interested in attending our workshop.
Confirmed Speakers

John Beggs, Matthias Bethge, Stefan Bornholdt,  Mauro Copelli, Lucilla
de Arcangelis, Thilo Gross, Michael Herrmann, Anna Levina, Klaus
Linkenkaer-Hansen, Paolo Massobrio, Ruben Moreno-Bote, Eilif Benjamin
Müller, Dietmar Plenz, Viola Priesemann, Silvia Scarpetta, Woodrow Shew,
Oren Shriki, Thilo Womelsdorf.

Workshop description

Current information on the workshop can be found on the website

Soon we will update this web-page with the program .

Cortical information processing relies heavily on the collective
dynamics of neurons and networks distributed over many brain areas. A
key concept for understanding this process is the idea that networks
operate near a critical state, which offers several potential benefits
for computation and information processing. However, there is still a
large gap between research on criticality and understanding brain
function: For example,

* biological cortical networks are not homogeneous but highly structured,
* they are not in a state of spontaneous activation but strongly driven
by changing external stimuli, and
* they process information with respect to a concrete behavioral goal.

Moreover, critical states are just one side of the medal, since there
are other concepts of how collective dynamics enables, shapes, and
controls information processing; i.e. actively provide an operating
point for cortical computation: To name just a few, there are

* balance between excitation and inhibition,
* temporal coordination and multiplexing, and
* task-dependent computation and signal routing (selective attention).

Understanding cortical function will only be possible by putting these
conceptual ideas into a unifying framework and critically test them
against experimental evidence.

In this workshop we will bring together experts representing different
approaches for understanding the collective dynamics of cortical
networks and their implications for information processing. Hereby we
will focus on work with a concrete link to cortical physiology,
structure or dynamics observed in experiments. Our goals are to
establish novel links between communities, concepts and methods and to
identify key problems that have to be addressed by future theoretical
and experimental work.


The general costs of the workshop will be subsidized by the
'Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg Institute for Advanced Study' (www.h-w-k.de)
and by the BMBF (Bernstein Award Udo Ernst). However, in order to cover
all costs, we ask for a registration fee in the amount of € 50,00 for
PhD students and € 100,00 for postdocs/professors. Unfortunately, we
cannot cover your costs for accommodation and travelling. Participation
in the workshop will be limited to about 60 attendees (20 main speakers,
40 postdocs + PhD students).

In case you are interested in participating, we would ask you to send
your reply to Agnes Janssen ajanssen at neuro.uni-bremen.de. We can also
arrange hotel reservations for you.

Poster session

Besides the talks of the main speakers and plenty of time for
discussions, there will be a poster session.  You are invited to present
a poster, in which case please send the title and abstract to Agnes Janssen.

Again, we would greatly appreciate having you at our workshop. If you
have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely
Udo Ernst and Nergis Tömen

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