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
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 research.
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

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