Brain Connectivity Workshop.
May 1 - 3, 2003
- Ed Bullmore
- Lee Harrison
- Lucy Lee
- Andrea Mechelli
Brain function is dependent on changes in connectivity between individual neurons to neuronal populations. Functionally specialised regions of cortex share their information within local and global networks. Integration of information is therefore a dynamic process. From investigations into the physical connections between neuronal structures and measuring brain activity in vivo, concepts of anatomical and functioning connectivity have been useful in understanding the brain plasticity. Discussion of these mechanisms was the motivation for a multi-disciplinary workshop on "Functional Brain Connectivity" organized by Rolf Kotter and Karl Friston in April 2002 in Dusseldorf, Germany. Following the workshop's success, another will be held in May 2003 in Cambridge, England, to continue the discussion.
The aim of the meeting is to bring together experts in computational neuroscience, neuroimaging methodology and experimental neuroscience with a special interest in dynamic modeling of neurophysiological data (including human and animal studies). The focus of the workshop will be current and future methodological developments focused on measuring dynamic interactions and their relation to information processing within the brain from experimental techniques including, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Electro and Magnetoencephalography (EEG and MEG), single and multi-cell recordings. Central issues to be covered will include:
- Dynamic Correlations: Statistical correlations between spike trains induced by an experimental task change as a function of time. Changes in correlations can be modeled as a consequence of task-related changes in coupling among neurons or cortical regions. These concepts were developed for single cell data, originally in the late 1960s, and have provided a conceptual corner stone for modeling dynamic interactions with whole brain neuroimaging data. How are these concepts shaping new metrics of functional integration among neuronal systems?
- Synchronisation: Mechanisms through which separate assemblies or cortical regions communicate and bind information may utilize synchronised cell activity. Time-frequency analyses tests for generalized synchronization and phase synchronization, within single cells or populations reveal complex dynamic signatures that can be used to quantify nonlinear coupling. Are these useful measures for assessing long-range actions in the functioning brain?
- Ensemble Dynamics: Neural systems represent hierarchical structures, each level of organisation depending on the preceding. From the dynamic interactions among neurons, cell assemblies emerge. Modeling population dynamics of large groups of interacting neurons using parameters that capture collective behaviour has been useful in reducing the computational load of modeling interactions among populations. Can such models help understand spatiotemporal order measured using current functional imaging and electrophysiological techniques?
- Information Theoretic/ Bayesian Architectures: Prediction and Bayesian notions are being used to motivate models of top-down influences in the brain and sophisticated models of representational learning. Can these theoretical constructs be used to form metrics or observation models that enable us to interpret neurophysiological data in terms of information processing?
- System Identification: Principles of signal processing and system identification are being used to characterise neuronal systems in terms of how they transform sensory inputs into measurable outputs. Perturbing a system and measuring its response is central to this approach, providing a link with experimental techniques such as fMRI, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and cortical cooling in monkeys.
- Synergetics/Complexity: Ensembles of interacting subunits self-organise into spatiotemporal modes that operate within an information-rich regime. Computational models of such systems generate characteristic anatomical and functional motifs with similarities to neuronal systems. Quantitative measures of complexity and the effect of pathology on a system are being developed with these models.
Workshop programme :
Twenty international experts have been convened to discuss these issues with a small but active audience of about 50 people. The workshop is scheduled to provide abundant opportunities for audience participation and cross-fertilisation of ideas between diverse, relevant disciplines. Each speaker will be asked to present the key questions or concepts, as they see them, using a minimum of audiovisual apparatus. Presentations will be limited to a maximum of 15 to 20 minutes to give ample opportunity for discussion. The talks and discussions will later be summarised in a series of articles for a special issue of the new journal, Neuroinformatics.
- Amos Arieli (Rehovot)
- Michael Breakspear (Sydney)
- Steven Bressler (Florida)
- Christian Buechel (Hamburg)
- Peter Dayan (London)
- Gary Green (Newcastle)
- Barry Horwitz (Washington)
- Viktor Jirsa (Florida)
- Rolf Kotter (Dusseldorf)
- Randy McIntosh (Toronto)
- Peter Robinson (Sydney)
- Eytan Ruppin (Tel-Aviv)
- Olaf Sporns (Bloomington)
- Peter Tass (Julich)
- Alessando Treves (Trieste)
- Malcolm Young (Newcastle)
- Pedro Valdes-Sosa (Havana)
How to apply ?
No more places available
Program details :
The workshop will commence on Thursday morning, 1 May, and conclude on Saturday afternoon, 3
Abstracts and presentations can be found here.
Location and Directions :
- From Stansted airport:
Get to the coach station outside the airport and get a ticket to Cambridge. The journey should take ca. 50 minutes. See www.gobycoach.co.uk for further information.
- From Heathrow airport:
Go to the London Underground Station in the airport and get a ticket to King's Cross (both stations are on the Piccadilly Line - no need to change). The journey to King's Cross should take ca. 65 minutes. See "From King's Cross station" for the remaining part of the journey.
- From Gatwick airport:
The Gatwick Express runs every 10-15 minutes at peak times and takes ca. 35 minutes to London Victoria rail station. From here, get the London Underground to King's Cross station - the journey should take ca. 25 minutes. Alternatively there are Thameslink trains from Gatwick airport to King's Cross Thameslink, which is part of King's Cross station. See "From King's Cross station" for the remaining part of the journey.
- From King's Cross station:
Trains to Cambridge depart regularly from King's Cross station. The journey is approximately 55 minutes. See for information on UK rail services.
How to find the MRC Unit
The MRC Unit is about a mile from the railway station. You can take a taxi, or if you prefer, walk down the length of Station Road. It ends at a T-junction with traffic lights. Turn left, onto Hills Rd, and walk towards the traffic lights at the railway bridge. Turn right at this point, along Brooklands Avenue, and walk to the end, a cross-roads with traffic lights. Chaucer Road is the opposite road, and no. 15 is on the left-hand side, 3/4 of the way down. Please note there is no car parking facility at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit.
Please make your own arrangements for accommodation during the workshop, bearing in mind that we will be starting at 9am on Thursday 1st May. The MRC Unit can easily be reached on foot from these hotels:
Antony's Bed & Breakfast
E. & M. Antony
4 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0HH
Tel: 01223 357444
148, Tenison Towers, Cambridge, CB1 2DP
Tel: 01223 363924
Fax: 01223 411093
Station Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB1 2TZ
Phone: +44 (0)1223 304050
Fax: +44 (0)1223 357286
Assisi Guest House
I. Verrecchia 193, Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge, CB1 7BX
Tel: 01223 246648
Fax: 01223 412900
Mrs. D.K. Beckett 15 St. Pauls Road, Cambridge, CB1 2EZ
Tel: 01223 315832
24 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0HH
Tel: 01223 311594
Fax: 01223 311594
Mobile: 07702 387859
You can also visit http://www.cambridge.gov.uk/leisure/accommodation/accommodation.html for further information about hotels in Cambridge.
Costs and registration :
Participation in the workshop is free of charge. However, there is a charge of £70 (sterling) to cover administration and catering costs (refreshments will be provided during coffee breaks and lunch on Thursday and Friday). This amount is not refundable after acceptance of your registration, though it is transferable at no extra cost.
If your application is successful, we will send you details of where to transfer the registration fee. Please transfer this amount within 1 week, otherwise the registration will be cancelled. Registration will be confirmed after receipt of payment (see below).
Applications will be accepted from 1st March until 1st April 2003.
On-site registration will not be accepted.
Complete registration requires both the web site registration and the remittance of £70. We will notify you by e-mail when your registration is complete.
This workshop is supported by: