NIPS 2008 Workshop - Whistler Canada -

Cortical Microcircuits and their Computational Functions

Saturday 13th December 2008
7.30-10.30 am
16.00-19.00 pm

Organizers: Terry Sejnowski, Salk Institute, Tomaso Poggio, MIT

Workshop Description:

There are around 100,000 neurons under a mm2 of cerebral cortex and about one billion synapses. Thalamic inputs to the cortex carry information that is transformed by local microcircuits of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. In recent years there has been an explosion of discoveries about the anatomical organization of the micrcircuits and the physiolgical properties of the neurons and synapses that compose them. The goal of this workshop is to explore the funcitonal implications of these new findings and in particualr to attempt to characterize the elementary computational operations that are performed in different layers of cortex.

Some of the issues that speakers will address include:

Workshop Schedule:

Chair - Terry Sejnowski
7:30 am - Rodney Douglas, (INI, Zurich) - Canonical cortical microcircuits
8:10 am - Thomas Serre (MIT) - Microcircuits for perception
8:50 am - break
9:00 am - David Heeger (NYU) - "Normalization model of attention"
9:40 am - Paul Tiesinga (UNC, Chapel Hill) - Microcircuits for gain control

Chair - Rodney Douglas
4:00 pm - Attila Losonczy (Janelia Farm) - Dendritic computation
4:40 pm - Terry Sejnowski (Salk/UCSD) - "Local balance on dendritic branches"
5:20 pm - Break
5:30 pm - Viren Jain (MIT) - "Progress and prospects for high-throughput reconstruction of neural circuitry"
6:10 pm - Bernie Widrow (Stanford) - "Mechanisms for cognitive memory"