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Press release of


9th Bernstein Sparks Workshop

Recent advances in recurrent network theory: fluctuating correlated dynamics across scales

May 25 - 27, 2016, Göttingen (Tutorials: May 24, 2016)

The theory of recurrent networks has a long history in physics and its ramifications are highly relevant for our understanding of dynamics and learning in neural networks. Despite impressive progress in computational neuroscience, we are still far from a canonical theory of biologically realistic recurrent networks. Bridging from the €‹microscopic single cell dynamics €‹to observable €‹macroscopic population phenomena remains a challenge. A consistent theory of the €‹fluctuating and correlated dynamics on multiple spatio-temporal scales, which €‹is ubiquitously reported experimentally, is still lacking.

The workshop will bring together key researchers to survey and discuss recent advances of recurrent network theory of fluctuating and correlated dynamics on multiple temporal and spatial scales to pinpoint limitations of the existing theoretical tools and methods. The organizers seek active discussions among participants and speakers, the exchange of new approaches and methods, and presentations that will spark new ideas for future developments.

The meeting aims to serve as a forum for key researchers working with mean-field approaches and/or their emerging alternatives to exchange their tools and views. These exchanges will be complemented by poster presentations from students and postdocs.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Andrea Crisanti (Universita  di Roma, La Sapienza, Italy)
  • Brent Doiron (Dept. of Mathematics, University of Pittsburgh, USA)
  • Bard Ermentrout (Dept. of Mathematics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA)
  • Olivier Faugeras (Neuromathcomp Team, Inria Sophia Antipolis, France)
  • Zachary P Kilpatrick (Dept. of Mathematics, University of Houston, USA)
  • Sukbin Lim (Institute of Brain and Cognitive Science, NYU Shanghai, China)
  • Andre Longtin (Dept. of Physics, University of Ottawa, Canada)
  • Viola Priesemann (MPI for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Goettingen, Germany)
  • Michelle Rudolph-Lilith (Unite de Neurosciences, CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette, France)
  • Tatjana Tchumatchenko (MPI for Brain Research, Frankfurt, Germany)
  • Michele Thieullen (Universite Pierre et Marie, Paris, France)
  • Jean-Philippe Thivierge (School of Psychology, Ottawa University, Canada)
  • Alessandro Torcini (Aix-Marseille Universite, Marseille, France)
  • Taro Toyoizumi (RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Japan)
  • Fred Wolf (MPI for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Goettingen, Germany)

Additionally, some of the speakers in the 2015 workshop have confirmed their attendance:

  • Benjamin Lindner (HU Berlin and BCCN Berlin)
  • Gianluigi Mongillo (Paris Descartes University and CNRS, Paris, France)
  • Wilhelm Stannat (Institut für Mathematik, TU Berlin and BCCN Berlin)
  • Carl van Vreeswijk (Neurophysics, Paris Descartes University and CNRS, Paris, France)


The tutorials will be held prior to the main meeting on May 24, 2016 run from 9am till 5pm to introduce students and postdocs into the mathematical techniques employed in computational neuroscience. Topics will include: mean-field approaches for firing rate and integrate and fire networks, evaluation of different dynamical regimes using Lyapunov exponents-like techniques, Markov processes and more. Each tutorial will be held by an experienced researcher in the field. Registration for the tutorials is required due to limited numbers of seats .

The Tutorials are organized by Merav Stern, Hebrew University, Israel.

Poster submission:

Poster submissions are highly encouraged. Please submit your abstracts before April 15, 2016 here. You will be informed about your registration at the end of April 2016.

Due to the limited time and a schedule that promotes exchanges of advanced research ideas, talks are by invitation only. However, the organizers will try to allocate one or two shorter talk slots for selected submitted abstracts.


Attendance of the workshop is free but limited. Seats will be allocated on first-come-first-served basis. Please note that members of the Bernstein Network and the Bernstein Association will be given preference. Please register here.


Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Goettingen, Germany. You may look here for a complete address and a travel guide.


  • Farzad Farkhooi (Institute of Mathematics, Technische Universität Berlin and BCCN Berlin, Germany)
  • Moritz Helias, Forschungszentrum Juelich and RWTH Aachen University, Germany
  • Guillaume Lajoie (University of Washington Institute for Neuroengineering, Seattle, USA and MPI-DS & BCCN Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany)
  • Merav Stern (Hebrew University, Israel)


  • Andrea Huber Broesamle (Bernstein Coordination Site)
  • Viktoria Novak (MPI for Dynamics and Self-Organization)
  • Regina Wunderlich (MPI for Dynamics and Self-Organization)
  • Kerstin Schwarzwaelder (Bernstein Coordination Site)

Farzad Farkhooi (e-mail: farzad@bccn-berlin.de)