NIPS 2006 Workshop: Decoding the Neural Code

If anyone has ideas for other discussion questions, please post them in the comments. If you like to ski, this is a particularly good conference.

NIPS 2006 WORKSHOP ANNOUNCEMENT AND CALL FOR ABSTRACTS:
DECODING THE NEURAL CODE

Location and Date: Whistler, Canada December 8th or 9th, 2006
Submission deadline: November 2, 2006

Workshop web site:
https://science.ethomson.net/NIPS_workshop.html

DESCRIPTION
There is great interest in sensory coding. Studies of sensory coding
typically involve recording from sensory neurons during stimulus
presentation, and the investigators determine which aspects of the
neuronal response are most informative about the stimulus. These
studies are left with a decoding problem: are the discovered codes,
sometimes quite exotic, ultimately used by the nervous system to guide
behavior? In our one-day workshop, researchers with many different
backgrounds will evaluate what we know about neuronal decoders and
suggest new strategies, both experimental and computational, for
addressing the decoding problem.

Each hour, five to six researchers will address a particular
question for five minutes, followed by a half-hour discussion. We will
also set aside time for a poster session.

We tentatively plan to include the following questions, and are soliciting additional questions from our speakers:
1. Which variables that encode stimuli are actually used to guide behavior?
2. What mechanisms do nervous systems use to decode encoded information?
3. Are motor systems better than sensory systems for experimentally addressing decoding?
4.
What computational and experimental techniques are needed to address
decoding? For instance, should information theory be used to address
decoding as well as encoding?

INVITED SPEAKERS
Henry Abarbanel (Physics, UCSD)
Andrea Hasenstaub (Neurobiology, Yale)
Eric Horvitz (Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA)
Pamela Reinagel (Neurobiology, UCSD)
Michael Shadlen (Physiology, U Washington)
Tatyana Sharpee (Physiology, UCSF)
Simon Thorpe (CNRS)

WORKSHOP ORGANIZERS
William B. Kristan, Jr. (wkristan@ucsd.edu)
Terrence J. Sejnowski (terry@salk.edu)
Eric Thomson (thomson@neuro.duke.edu

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