[Comp-neuro] Bernstein Workshop "Characterizing Natural Scenes": Second Call for Abstracts/Contributed Talks

Arno Onken arno.onken at iit.it
Wed May 28 13:04:59 CEST 2014

Second Call for Abstracts/Contributed Talks

You are invited to participate in the pre-conference Bernstein workshop
"Characterizing Natural Scenes: Retinal Coding and Statistical Theory",
taking place in Göttingen, Germany, on September 2-3, 2014. Please find
the preliminary schedule at workshop URL:

The workshop chairs will select a couple of abstracts for short oral
presentation at the workshop. All the abstracts will be presented as
posters during the Bernstein conference on September 3-4. However, the
workshop could hold a separate poster session based on the number and
quality of abstracts that we receive.

To participate in the workshop please submit the abstract (an extended
version is preferred) as a PDF attachment via email to Jian Liu
(jian.liu at med.uni-goettingen.de) or Arno Onken (arno.onken at iit.it). The
deadline for submission is August 1.

Please note that abstract submission for the main conference is already
closed while abstract submission for this workshop is still open.

Please refer to the Bernstein Conference 2014 for registration and venue

How does the retina process natural visual inputs? What role do the many
types of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) play in this? Experiments with
specific artificial stimuli have suggested that individual types of RGCs
may have specific functional roles in visual processing, yet it is not
clear how these simplified functional investigations relate to the
processing of natural images and movies. An important ingredient for
future analysis will be a better understanding of the complex
statistical properties of natural scenes, as revealed by theoreticians.

The relationship between natural visual statistics and retinal coding
provides a promising direction for improving our understanding of the
visual system. But we still lack a systematic framework for
understanding the underlying mechanisms of how relevant features of
natural scenes are encoded by the retina.

In this workshop, we expect mutual benefits for both natural scene
statistics and retinal coding. We will bring together experimentalists
and theoreticians in order to highlight recent progress, encourage
exchange of insights, and stimulate new ideas for future work with the
following core questions:

1) How can we develop useful descriptions of the statistics of natural
scenes that are relevant for retinal coding?
2) How can we characterize the functional roles of different RGC types
in processing natural scenes?
3) Which coding strategies are present at the level of RGC populations?
4) How can we unify the acquired knowledge of natural scenes and neural
data to develop better tools for analysis?

 * Vijay Balasubramanian (University of Pennsylvania)
 * Philipp Berens (BCCN, Tübingen)
 * Thomas Euler (University of Tübingen)
 * Felix Franke (ETH Zurich)
 * Olivier Marre (Vision Institute, Paris)
 * Aman Saleem (University College London)
 * Maneesh Sahani (University College London)
 * Rava A. da Silveira (ENS, Paris)

We are looking forward to seeing you in Göttingen.

Workshop organizers:
Jian Liu (University Medical Center Göttingen and BCCN Göttingen)
Arno Onken (Center for Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems

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