Canonical Neural Computation 2009

 A workshop at Villa La Pietra, Florence, 17-19 April  2009

In the quest to understand the brain's operation, there is great hope and increasing evidence that key circuits and mechanisms are modular, and are repeated across species, brain areas, and modalities, to apply similar computations to different problems.  What are these canonical neural computations, and what are the underlying circuits and mechanisms?

This workshop put together some of the top researchers involved in the analysis of neural mechanisms and computations. The goal shared by these researchers is to bridge levels of analysis, species, brain areas or modalities. 

By bringing these researchers together we aimed to define a roadmap for immediate further research. The agenda will be set in advance by a collaborative statement listing specific goals/aims for this program of research. This statement was used as a platform for discussion and was refined as the meeting progressed. The final document can be found here

In addition to the researchers, the attendees included journal editors and program directors from funding bodies, who provided guidance and support for this roadmap. Among these attendees were Drs. Andrew Rossi (National Institute of Mental Health), Sarah Caddick (Gatsby Charitable Foundation), Charles Yokoyama (Neuron), Hannah Bayer (Nature Neuroscience), and Claudia Wiedemann (Nature Reviews Neuroscience). They provided advice on how to design, implement, and communicate a transformative program of research involving multiple researchers aimed towards a common goal.

The workshop took place in Florence at NYU's La Pietra Conference Center on 17-19 April 2009. Generous funding was provided by the Swartz Foundation. For reasons of space, attendance was by invitation only. 

Organizers

Schedule


Friday, 17 April 2009

 7:45 AM Breakfast
 9:00 AM Matteo Carandini, University College London
             Normalization and competition in visual cortex
 9:30 AM Discussion
 9:45 AM Eero Simoncelli, New York University
             Why normalization - some statistical justifications
10:15 AM Discussion
10:30 AM coffee break
11:00 AM Dora Angelaki, Washington University
              A divisive normalization model of multi-sensory integration
11:30 AM Discussion
11:45 AM David Heeger, New York University
               Normalization model of attention
12:15 PM Discussion
12:30 PM Lunch
  2:00 PM Panel discussion: Research opportunities
              Hirsh Cohen, Swartz Foundation
              Andrew Rossi, NIMH
              Sarah Caddick, Gatsby Charitable Foundation.
 3:00 PM Odelia Schwartz, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
              Gain control in neural populations and natural scene statistics
 3:30 PM Discussion
 3:45 PM  Dario Ringach, University of California Los Angeles
              Implications of normalization for population coding
 4:15 PM Discussion
 4:30 PM Coffee break
 5:00 PM Shihab Shamma, University of Maryland
              Task difficulty and performance induce adaptive patterns in auditory cortex
 5:30 PM Discussion
 5:45 PM  David McAlpine, University College London
              Accumulating gain adaptation in the ascending auditory pathways
  6:15 PM Discussion
  6:30 PM Dinner

Saturday, 18 April 2009

 7:45 AM Breakfast
 9:00 AM
Nicholas Priebe, UT Austin
              Variability and invariance in cortical responses
 9:30 AM Discussion
 9:45 AM
Frances Chance, UC Irvine
              Gain modulation by subtractive and divisive mechanisms of inhibition
10:15 AM Discussion
10:30 AM Coffee break
11:00 AM
John Reynolds, Salk Institute
               Mapping the microcircuitry of attention
11:30 AM Discussion
11:45 AM
Adrienne Fairhall, University of Washington
              Intrinsic contributions to adaptive coding
12:15 PM Discussion
12:30 PM Lunch
 2:00 PM Discussion session: future directions (4 subgroups)
             
theory/computation
             
physiology-systems
             
physiology-mechanisms
             
human/clinical
 3:00 PM
Nicole Rust, University of Pennsylvania
             Commonalities of computation across the motion and object recognition pathways
 3:30 PM Discussion
 3:45 PM
Sam Solomon, University of Sydney
             One model or more? Gain control in the context of parallel visual pathways
 4:15 PM Discussion
 4:30 PM Coffee break
 5:00 PM
Larry Abbott, Columbia University
             Nonlinear dimensional reduction for discrimination in the fly olfactory system
 5:30 PM Discussion
 5:45 PM
Rachel Wilson, Harvard Medical School
             Gain control in an olfactory circuit
 6:15 PM Discussion
 6:30 PM Banquet dinner (at La Pietra)

Sunday, 19 April 2009

 7:45 AM Breakfast
 9:00 AM
Josh Solomon, City University London
              Contextual influences on perceived orientation: gain control or not?
 9:30 AM Discussion
 9:45 AM
Concetta Morrone, Istituto di Neurofisiologia CNR, Pisa
              Cross-orientation inhibition measured with fMRI
10:15 AM Discussion
10:30 AM Coffee break
11:00 AM
Anthony Norcia, Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute
              Normal and abnormal development of gain control and contextual interactions
11:30 AM Discussion
11:45 AM
Steven Dakin, UCL
              Abnormal gain control and sensory processing deficits in schizophrenia
12:15 PM Discussion
12:30 PM Lunch
 2:00 PM Discussion session: future directions (4 subgroups)
             
theory/computation
             
physiology-systems
             
physiology-mechanisms
             
human/clinical
 3:00 PM
Massimo Scanziani, University of California San Diego
             Dynamic range and hippocampal inhibitory circuits
 3:30 PM Discussion
 3:45 PM
Michael Hausser, University College London
             Dendritic computation
 4:15 PM Discussion
 4:30 PM Coffee break
 5:00 PM
Kevan Martin, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich
             Mapping the matrix: circuits, cells, and cynapses in neocortex
 5:30 PM Discussion
 5:45 PM
J Anthony Movshon, New York University
             Encoding and decoding with feedforward computations in cortical networks
 6:15 PM Discussion
 6:30 PM Dinner