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Theoretical Neuroscience & Complex Systems

Denise Meixler Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS) Summer School:

   Theoretical Neuroscience & Complex Systems

We invite applications for a three-week summer workshop in Frankfurt,
Germany from Saturday, August 5 to Sunday, August 27, 2006. The
application deadline is Saturday, April 15. Application instructions
are at the bottom of this announcement.


Larry ABBOTT, Columbia University, USA
Dana BALLARD, University of Texas, Austin, USA
Emery BROWN, Harvard and MIT, USA
Gyorgy BUZSAKI, Rutgers University, USA
Gustavo DECO, Univ. Pompeu Fabra, Spain
Yves FREGNAC, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France
Ralf GALUSKE, Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research, Germany
Wulfram GERSTNER*, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, France
Rainer GOEBEL, Maastricht University, Netherlands
Claudius GROS, Goethe University, Germany
Aapo HYVARINEN, Univ. of Helsinki, Finland
Christof KOCH, Caltech, USA
Wolfgang MAASS, FIAS, Germany and Technische Universit�¤t Graz, Austria
Bartlett MEL, University of South California, USA
Lars MUCKLI,  Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research, Germany
Sergio NEUENSCHWADER, Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research, Germany
Gordon PIPA, FIAS and Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, Germany
Wolf SINGER, FIAS and Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, Germany
Andrey SOLOV'YOV, FIAS, Germany
Jochen TRIESCH, FIAS, Germany and UC San Diego, USA
Misha TSODYKS, Weizmann Institute, Israel
Christoph VON DER MALSBURG, FIAS, Germany
Carl VAN VREESWIJK, Rene Descartes University, France
Michael WIBRAL, Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, Germany

*not yet confirmed


There is a deficiency in the exchange of ideas between theoretical
physicists and experimental biologists. This arises from different
background knowledge bases and viewpoints, even when addressing the
same problem. The aim of the FIAS Summer School on Theoretical
Neuroscience and Complex Systems is to provide a bridge linking
experimentalists and theorists. The school also addresses the
challenge of further developing theoretical sciences and transferring
existing concepts into the interdisciplinary field of neuroscience. This
transference will be highly dependent on the successful training
of students able to bridge the different fields. Participants will
work on self-defined projects in interdisciplinary teams comprising at
least one experimental neuroscientist and one theoretician.


The three-week summer workshop will include a preschool that will take
place at the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt. During
these three days, theoretical physicists will be trained in basic concepts
of neuroscience, experimental neuroscientists will be trained in basic
concepts of network theory and complex systems, and theoretical
neuroscientists will be trained in experimental neuroscience. The first
two days of the summer school will be used to introduce the main concepts
of neuronal systems and information processing. The second week is devoted
to the characterization and analysis of neural recordings, as well as to
the description and modeling of neurons, synapses, and small networks. The
third week introduces approaches for modeling higher cognitive
functions.  Throughout, participants work on projects that they
themselves propose, and this work will be carried out in collaboration
with an interdisciplinary working-group comprising one experimental
neuroscientist, one theoretical neuroscientist, and one theoretical
physicist. Lectures will be held in the mornings from Monday-Friday, while
students will work on their projects in the afternoons from
Monday-Wednesday. Intra-group progress reports will be presented on
Wednesday and Friday evenings. A preview of the following week's
lectures will be provided on Thursday afternoons to ensure that all
participants are comfortable with the material to be discussed. Saturdays
will be devoted to "theory in practe" and participants will have the
chance to visit research laboratories including the Max-Planck Institute
for Brain Research in Frankfurt and the Honda Research Institute in
Offenbach. Each Sunday will be reserved for recreational opportunities,
and on the final day of the summer school, the projects will be presented.

The scientific program will cover the following areas:

- Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology

- Basics in modeling of neurons

- Models of neural microcircuits

- Abstract models of higher-level functions

- Outlook to other complex systems


FIAS is a Foundation of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University and is
located on the natural science campus, Riedberg, in Frankfurt am
Main. It also has close collaboration with the Faculty of Natural
Sciences at the J.W. Goethe-University and the Max Planck Institutes
for Brain Research and Biophysics. The preschool will take place at
the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research. Students and Lecturers
will stay in the Marriott Courtyard Frankfurt Nordwestzentrum. The
hotel is located very close to the FIAS Institute and has excellent
access to the public transport system.


FIAS organizes the summer school and covers the accommodation and the
cultural Program. Students have to pay a registration fee of 150
Euro. Students from Eastern European countries or students in general
who need support for their travel expenses can apply for reimbursement
and a waiver for the registration fee. Please indicate this in your
application if you are considering applying for reimbursement. We will
also need an estimation of your travel expenses.


Students who have a bachelor, a master, a Ph.D., or other equivalent
degrees can apply for this summer school. To apply, please provide two
letters of recommendation, a curriculum vitae, as well as a one page
description of a small project you are planning to work on during the
course. Based on the proposal, the committee will group students to
teams and assign interdisciplinary faculty to each team.

Information about applying and the summer school in general can be
found at the website:

A copy of the summer school announcement can be downloaded from:

Applications should include:

* First name, last name, affiliation, valid e-mail address
* Two letters of recommendation
* Curriculum Vitae
* Project proposal (max. one page)
* Request for reimbursement of travel expenses (if applicable)

Please send your documents in an electronic format to:

The application deadline is Saturday, April 15, 2006. Applicants will
be notified by e-mail by May 1, 2006.

For further information, please contact:

Denise Meixler (
Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University
Max-von-Laue-Str. 1
60438 Frankfurt am Main

tel: +49 69 798 47851
fax: +49 69 798 47876