Connections and Communication in the Brain
The Banbury Center
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Long Island, NY
April 6-9, 2014
Nicolas Brunel - University of Chicago
Bijan Pesaran - NYU
The goal of this workshop is to encourage researchers employing experimental and theoretical approaches to bring new data, tools, concepts and ideas to bear on understanding the mechanisms and functional significance of communication in the brain.
Over many decades, neuroscience has been deeply influenced by evidence that specific behavioral processes are localized to particular brain regions. Anatomical studies have revealed how the brain is organized into different regions. Functional studies have shown how activity in different brain regions is specific for different behavioral processes. Focal damage to brain has been shown to result in remarkably precise behavioral deficits.
However, it is also clear that brain areas interact to guide behavior by communicating with each other, and do so over neuronal projection systems formed by large populations of neurons that are not localized to specific brain regions. In the past, it has been challenging to link cellular and behavioral processes to questions about communication. To understand how different areas cooperate to engage in a particular behavior, we must understand both the structure of the connectivity between these areas, and the rules that govern the communication between these areas. The advent of new methods and approaches means that the time is ripe to develop an experimental and theoretical understanding about communication between different regions of the brain.