Workshop on Learning and Plasticity

November 7-11, 2011 CIRM, Marseille

Connections between neurons in the brain are not static, but plastic, that is they change over time. These changes in the synaptic connections form the basis of learning and memory. Understanding these plastic changes is the main goal of the field of ‘Synaptic Plasticity’.

This field has attracted mathematicians and theoretical physicists who try to explain why changes in connections can lead to memories or improved information processing; as well as experimentalists who try to understand the basic rules governing synaptic changes or their biophysical basis.

    • Do synaptic changes depend on spiking timing, voltage, calcium levels or all of these together?
    • Do synaptic changes depend on neuromodulators?
    • What can a neural network learn and memorize with mathematical rules depending on spike timing?
    • What do we gain by neuromodulators?
    • What does voltage dependence give?
    • Can we link biophysical rules to formal mathematical theories of learning?

The workshop will be organized around 5 topics (one per day), with about 6 long talks, plus posters and potentially shorter talks. Day one would be mainly dominated by experimentalists, then each of the other days we start the morning and afternoon with one lecture by a leading experimentalist, followed by a two lectures by theorists. We will end the morning session with a general discussion and the afternoon session with shorter talks and posters.

This workshop is by invitation only. However possible to apply for poster