NIPS*97 Workshop

Dendritic Computation

7:30am-10:30am, 4:00pm-7:00pm,
Friday, Dec 5, 1997
Breckenridge, Colorado


Zach Mainen, Cold Spring Harbor Lab
Venkatesh Murthy, Salk Institute

Email: and


The possibility that powerful computations may be carried out in neuronal dendrites has attracted attention from theoretical neuroscience for some time. The type of experimental data necessary to support or refute these ideas has started to become available only recently, spurred by the application of new techniques such as dendritic patch clamp recording, and high-resolution imaging. We therefore believe that it is quite timely to re-pose the perennial question "What do dendrites do?" in the context of recent theoretical and experimental work on single neuron function.

Goals of the workshop

Topics of particular interest include the role of active dendritic currents in the integration of synaptic events and the mechanisms and functional significance of regenerative dendritic potentials. Also, the function of dendritic spines will be addressed in light of new experimental findings. The proposed workshop is targeted toward computational neuroscientists with either experimental or theoretical background, as well as any researcher interested in computation and learning at the single neuron level. We plan to schedule a mix of theoretical and experimental talks (5 or 6), with the aim of discussing primarily questions at the interface of these two sorts of approach (i.e. experimentally-grounded theories and theoretically-motivated experiments).

Partial List of Speakers

Dan Johnston, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.
Jeff Isaacson, University of Washington, Seattle.
Bartlett Mel, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Nelson Spruston, Northwestern University, Evanston.
Michael Häusser, University College, London.

If you need further information about NIPS*97 and the Workshops here are the links:

  • NIPS*97

  • Workshops