[Comp-neuro] Minischool and Workshop on Multiple Time Scales in the Dynamics of the Nervous System

paolo del giudice paolo.delgiudice at iss.infn.it
Thu Apr 3 00:05:10 CEST 2008

Minischool and Workshop on Multiple Time Scales
in the Dynamics of the Nervous System

ICTP, Trieste, Italy
June 16-20 2008

Organizers: N. Brunel, P. Del Giudice, S. Franz, R. Zecchina, Fusi

The event will focus on the present understanding of the role of
multiple time scales in the dynamics of the nervous system.
Intrinsic time scales of single neuron dynamics are mostly in the
range of a few to a few hundreds of milliseconds. Between such
time scales and the very long ones underlying long-lasting
metabolic or even functional anatomic changes, time spans
ranging from seconds to months are observed to be involved in
cognitive processes, and call for a theoretical framework to
account for their emergence and role. In many cases it is
attractive, if not compelling, to think of such a variety of time
scales as the manifestation of a rich repertoire of collective
dynamic states in large assemblies of neurons and synapses.
Emergence of up and down states, sustained neural activity
supporting working memory, collective global oscillations on wide
frequency ranges, bursting, ramping activity tuned to task-
relevant timing are examples of behaviours still not easily
incorporated in a unified theoretical frame. Furthermore,
irregularities in the time course of the relevant dynamic quantities
are pervasively observed, from the inter-spike intervals of
recorded neurons, to the distribution of reaction times observed in
psychophysics. The role of noise as a putative constituent element
of brain dynamics has just begun to be investigated. The time
dimension (and noise) is also a challenging aspect of modeling
synaptic changes, as models have to encompass phenomena
ranging from short-term facilitation and depression, to Long-Term
Potentiation and Depression, to Long- Term memory; learning
achieved in one-shot to very slow learning; the effects of
neuromodulation on learning. The two-days minischool will
provide an up-to-date and broad overview of experimental and
theoretical approaches, while the three-days workshop will
present more technical and specialized contributions of frontier

The workshop program will also include a small number of
contributed talks and two poster sessions. We encourage
applicants willing to present an oral or poster contribution to
submit a one-page abstract for evaluation.

The meeting will be dedicated to the memory of Prof. Daniel Amit,
whose seminal, creative and vigorous activity in the field has
inspired and provoked so many of us in the last 20 years.

L Abbott (Columbia)
XJ Wang (Yale)
MV Sanchez-Vives (Barcelona)
D Salzman (Columbia) (to be confirmed)

Y Amit (Chicago)
D Durstewitz (Plymouth)
G Mongillo (Paris)
G Rainer (Tubingen)
H Sompolinsky (Jerusalem)
A Treves (SISSA)
S Wang (Princeton)
E Zohary (Jerusalem)

NEW DEADLINES for requesting participation and for submitting
one-page abstract, if not requiring visa or financial support:
April 30 2008

     Paolo Del Giudice
     Complex Systems Unit
     Department of Technologies and Health
     Italian National Institute of Health
     phone: ++39 06 49902245  fax: ++39 06 49387075
     skype: paolodg58


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