Saturday, March 17, 2012

Workshop on Non-linear Interdependence Measures in Neuroscience

I'm pleased to announce the NeFF-Workshop on Non-linear and model-free Interdependence Measures in Neuroscience and TRENTOOL course which will be held at Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany on April 26-27, 2012 (hosted by the MEG Unit of the Brain Imaging Centre, Frankfurt).

The synopsis from the workshop announcement is as follows:
Understanding complex systems composed of many interacting units, such as neural networks, means understanding their directed and causal interactions. If the units in question interact in a nonlinear way, as it can be assumed in neural networks, we are faced with the problem that the analysis of interactions must be blind to the type of interaction if we want to cover all possible interactions in the network, as we may not know the type of nonlinear interaction a priori. Prematurely limiting our search to specific models, nonlinearities or, even worse, linear interactions may block the road to discovery. Novel model-free techniques for the quantification of directed interactions from information theory offer a promising alternative to more traditional methods in the field of interaction analyses, but also come with their own specific challenges. This symposium brings together the most active researchers in the field to discuss the state of the art, future prospects and challenges on the way to an model-free, information theoretic assessment of neuronal directed interactions.
I'm happy to be co-organising this workshop with Michael Wibral (head of the MEG Unit, Brain Imaging Center, Goethe University Frankfurt) and Raul Vicente  (Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies).

We've got several speakers lined up to talk about their work in this field, particularly using information-theoretic tools including the transfer entropy. The speakers include some collaborators of mine (e.g. Mikhail Prokopenko, Paul Williams), many others I'm looking forward to meeting (e.g. Stefano Panzeri, Luca Faes), and the organisers of course :).

Plus there will also be a workshop on Michael and Raul's Transfer Entropy toolbox (TRENTOOL), which is designed to provide effective network analysis on neuro data sets in Matlab. I'm looking forward to playing around with this more myself, I've already got a project and some data in mind.

We're hoping to get lots of participants (though space is limited) - full details on how to register are available at the workshop website -

I hope to see you there!

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