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Neural Coding

11 - 13 June 2008

By invitation only

Venue: B10 Seminar Room, Alexandra House, 17 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AR

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Supported by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation

Programme | Participants |Travel Information



This workshop will bring together scientists working from a number of perspectives on the problem of neural coding in ensembles of neurons. The question of whether or not understanding patterns of activity in groups of neurons is important for understanding the brain goes back at least to Hebb, who initiated the idea of neural ensembles. With the advent of multi-electrode recording techniques which allow simultaneous recording of ensembles of neurons, and other approaches to understanding ensemble dynamics, a number of labs have begun to address this question experimentally. In parallel with the experimental effort, several groups have been working on important aspects of the theory of correlations and oscillations. The workshop will bring together both experimental and theoretical researchers addressing several fundamental questions.

Specifically, the workshop will be to address the following questions:

1. What are the network architectures that give rise to correlations?

2. What is the computational role of correlations?

3. Do correlations have similar effects in diverse brain systems?

4. Why do correlations appear to be beneficial in some systems and detrimental in others?

A major strength of the workshop is that several of these questions can only be addressed by considering data being collected from multiple labs. Thus, by bringing together researchers from the various labs, we can begin to address issues not currently being directly addressed in the literature. For example, most labs focus on the effect of correlations in a single system; the retina, motor cortex or V1. Thus, by comparing the results from different groups we can see whether or not they are consistent. Furthermore, by discussing differences in methodology, which in this area most often involve differences in analytical approaches, inconsistencies in the results can be attributed to either the specific system being studied, or methodological issues.


Organisers: Bruno Averbeck and Rachel Howes
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