Multi-level Brain Modeling Workshop


29 September – 1 October 2006


Sloan/Swartz Center for Theoretical Neurobiology, Salk Institute

Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience, UCSD


Rancho Santa Fe Inn, La Jolla, California


Organized by:

Terry Sejnowski, The Salk Institute


Press Release and Select Videos of the Meeting:




The goal of the workshop is to explore the relationships between measurements that span multiple levels of the brain, from the molecular properties of synapses, the dynamic properties of single neurons, the collective properties reflected in local field potentials, and the bulk properties of brain activity as measured with EEG, MEG and fMRI.  Each of these levels has a substantial literature but too little effort has been put into understanding how they are related.  Can we learn more about the nature of brain function by combining information simultaneously recorded across these levels? What new techniques are needed for spanning these levels?


Workshop participants will have 30 minutes for their presentations and 15 minutes for discussion…with that dialog on multi-level brain modeling considered a key aspect of the conference.




Friday, 29 September


11:30 AM – Transportation from the Rancho Santa Fe Inn to the Salk Institute


12 noon – Lunch, UCSD – Howard Hughes Conference Room


1:30 – 5:30 PM - Public symposium, UCSD - CalIT2

Chair: Terry Sejnowski, Salk/UCSD

These talks will be aimed at a more general audience and will lay out the issues that will be the focus of the workshop.


1:30 PM - Larry Abbott, Columbia

Multiple Time Scale of Neuronal Information Processing

2:15 PM - Kwabena Boahen, Stanford

Neurogrid: Emulating a million neurons in the cortex


3:00 PM - Break


3:45 PM - Michael Breakspear, University of Sydney

Unpacking the brain into multiscale space: Methods, evidence and models


4:30 PM - Robert Knight, UC Berkeley

Ultra high gamma in the human electrocorticogram

6:00 PM – Dinner, Salk – Parker Room


8:00 PM - Tony Bell, UC Berkeley

The search for a universal cross-level theory of learning



The workshop sessions will be held at the Rancho Santa Fe Inn, 10 miles north of La Jolla. Additional schedule details will be posted when available.


Saturday, 30 September


8:00 AM - Breakfast


8:45 – Jerry Swartz, The Swartz Foundation


9:00 - David McCormick, Yale

How the cortex behaves itself: Rapid modulation through intracortical mechanisms

9:45 - Yang Dan, UC Berkeley

Learning representation of natural stimuli in the visual cortex

10:30 - Break


10:45 - Terry Sejnowski, Salk/UCSD

Supralinear gain with synchronous spikes


11:30 – Pascal Fries Donders Center, Netherlands

Direct physiological evidence for a mechanistic influence of neuronal

synchronization on neuronal interactions


12:15 PM - Lunch


1:30 - San Diego, Excursion

200” Hale telescope at the top of Mount Palomar Mountain

Indian Mission Church at Pala


6:30 – Dinner, Delicias – Rancho Santa Fe



Sunday, 1 October


8:00 AM - Breakfast


8:45 - Ken Harris, Rutgers University

Dynamics and diversity in auditory cortical populations


9:30 – Bijan Pesaran, NYU

Free choice increases parietal-frontal interactions


10:15 - Break


10:30 - Partha Mitra, CSHL

Extracellular voltages and currents: some fundamental considerations


11:15 - John Reynolds, Salk Institute

Spatial attention modulates firing rate and Fano factor differently

across neuronal classes in area V4


12:00 PM Lunch


1:30 - Nicolas Brunel, CNRS, Paris

Dynamics of recurrent networks of spiking neurons

2:15 - Anders Dale, UCSD

Relating Brain Imaging Signals to Biophysical Models of Neuronal Circuits


3:00 - Break


3:15 - Jack Cowan, University of Chicago

Statistical Neural Field Theory


4:00 - Scott Makeig, UCSD

Multi-level Macrodynamics in Human Cortex


6:00 – Banquet, Inn at Rancho Santa Fe


8:00 - General Discussion: What we have learned about multi-level modeling?



Confirmed Participants:

Larry Abbott, Columbia

Tony Bell, UC Berkeley

Kwabena Boahen, Stanford

Michael Breakspear, University of Sydney

Nicolas Brunel, CNRS, Paris

Jack Cowan, U Chicago

Anders Dale, UCSD

Yang Dan, UC Berkeley

Pascal Fries, Donders Center, Netherlands

Ken Harris, Rutgers, Newark

Bob Knight, UC Berkeley

Scott Makeig, UCSD

David McCormick, Yale

Partha Mitra, CSHL

Bijan Pesaran, NYU

John Reynolds, Salk

Terry Sejnowski, Salk and UCSD

Jerry Swartz, The Swartz Foundation


Additional Participants:

Eric Halgren, UCSD

Tzyy-Ping Jung, UCSD

Kilian Koepsell, UC Berkeley

Jude Mitchel, Salk

Peter Rowat, UCSD

Don Spencer, Salk




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