Biophysical principles of brain oscillations and their meaning for information processing

Cosyne 2016. Snowbird, Utah


Feb 29th, March 1st, 2016

Event Website:

Organizers: Costas Anastassiou, Gabriel Kreiman and Stephanie Jones

Oscillatory activities such as theta (~4-8 Hz), alpha (~7-14Hz), beta (~12-30 Hz) or gamma (~30-80 Hz) have been hypothesized to coordinate neural functioning within and across brain areas. Flexible cooperation among local and distant cell assemblies is thought to underlie the efficacy of cortical performance and, as such, is an essential ingredient of cognition. What are the underlying neural mechanisms supporting such oscillations and how do these mechanisms dictate characteristics of rhythmic activity? How do rhythms manifest in terms of recorded signals and associated time series? How are the rhythms correlated with behavior and are they causally important? More specifically, oscillations are typically monitored via extracellular voltage (Ve) recordings (either from an individual location or from multiple locations). Understanding the link between sub-cellular, cellular and circuit dynamics giving rise to Ve-signals expressing such oscillations is paramount towards understanding how the biophysics underlying rhythms ultimately impact behavior. In this workshop we seek to address how the brain elicits oscillations at the cellular and circuit level, how these mechanisms translate to recorded signals, and how such oscillations give rise to high-level functioning.

This topic is very timely as in the last decade or so new technologies such as high-density silicon probes and 2-photon imaging have allowed concurrent monitoring of hundreds or even thousands of neurons in living and behaving animals. As such, we have entered an era where mechanisms of communication within and across brain areas can be interrogated at their cellular level – oscillations and rhythmic activity are a primary candidate for obtaining such network communication. Based on the aforementioned our goal is to organize a workshop bringing together worldwide experts to discuss the origin and function of oscillations given the newest findings and technologies. To the best of our knowledge, there has been no COSYNE-workshop in the past dealing with this subject and, thus, we expect a large audience. Furthermore, we strived to invite speakers of different backgrounds (theoretical, computational and experimental) whose research interests cover a range of scales (micro, meso and macro) and levels of description (bottom-up, top-down, etc.) We firmly believe that this workshop will be an important contribution and of interest to participants of a range of backgrounds interested to find out about brain oscillations and associated signals but also mechanisms of communication useful to the brain, in general.


Monday February 29th

  Biophysics and computational models of neural rhythms Session Chair: Costas Anastassiou
8:00-8:45 William Stanely Anderson Modeling Techniques for Studies of Brain Oscillations
8:45-9:30 Gaute Einevoll What can the local field potential (LFP) tell us about the cortical network activity?
9:30-10:15 Stephanie Jones Biophysically Principled Computational Modeling of Human MEG/EEG Signals Reveals Novel Mechanisms of Neocortical Rhythms and Their Meaning for Function
10:15-11:00 Matthew Larkrum TBD
  Role of oscillations in intra and inter area communication Session Chair: Gabriel Kreiman
4:30-5:15 Daniel Gibson

Brief Beta Bursts Abounding in Behaving Brains

Original analyses of the statistical distribution of durations of beta bursts in cortex and striatum of behaving monkeys will be presented, along with a review of historical reports of the phenomenon of brief oscillatory bursts.  I will conclude with some thoughts on possible functional roles of brief bursts of oscillation.
5:15-6:00 Miles Whittington Spike 'replay' during gamma rhythms in models of wake and NREM sleep: A role for GABA(B) receptor-mediated synaptic plasticity
6:00-6:45 Xiao-Jing Wang Layer-specific and frequency-dependent feedforward vs feedback signaling in a large-scale model of monkey cortex

Tuesday March 1st

  Neural rhythms and cognition Session Chair: Stephanie Jones
8:00-8:45 Tim Buschman Neural Dynamics of Cognitive Control
8:45-9:30 Lucia Melloni Perceptual inference and Neural oscillations:Predicting ‘what’ and ‘when’
9:30-10:15 Bijan Pesaran Functional inhibition gates eye-hand coordination
10:15-11:00 Gabriel Kreiman

Neural rhythms underlying interactions during flexlible rule learning

Rapid adaptation in behavioral choices is critical to our daily endeavors and constitutes a hallmark of dynamic reasoning. Learning new visuomotor mappings led to the emergence of specific responses that associated visual signals with the correct motor output. After learning, those mapping selective signals in the gamma band during the delay period showed dynamic interactions with purely visual and motor responses. These observations provide initial steps towards elucidating the dynamic circuits underlying flexible behavior and how communication across areas leads to rapid learning of task-relevant choices.
  Causal roles of neural rhythms Session Chair: Gabriel Kreiman
4:30-5:15 Laura Colgin Spatial sequence coding differs during slow and fast gamma rhythms in the hippocampus
5:15-6:00 Costas Anastassiou Signals, systems, psyche
6:00-6:45 Josh Siegle Optogenetic control of rhythmic spike patterns in hippocampus and cortex

Cosyne website