Stochastic dynamics of small networks of neurons

February 20 to February 24, 2012

at the

American Institute of Mathematics, Palo Alto, California

organized by

Victoria Booth, Priscilla Greenwood, and Rachel Kuske

This workshop, sponsored by AIM and the NSF, will be devoted to the area between carefully crafted stochastic models of single neurons and large networks of simpler ones. We will combine 'realistically' modelled neurons into small, possibly two or three neuron or slightly larger networks. The workshop will bring together people whose work has been on models of single neurons with others more concentrated on networks, to focus on this intermediate area.

The main topics for the workshop include

  1. What are useful constructions of small stochastic networks of neurons, in view of the interesting questions about larger networks? What questions on a small scale influence the larger scale?
  2. What are the distributional properties of the output of some specific small stochastic networks? Can they be derived from what we know about this question for single neurons?
  3. What sources of variability propagate through small networks and which will average out?

The workshop will differ from typical conferences in some regards. Participants will be invited to suggest open problems and questions before the workshop begins, and these will be posted on the workshop website. These include specific problems on which there is hope of making some progress during the workshop, as well as more ambitious problems which may influence the future activity of the field. Lectures at the workshop will be focused on familiarizing the participants with the background material leading up to specific problems, and the schedule will include discussion and parallel working sessions.

The deadline to apply for support to participate in this workshop has passed.

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