HHMI Janelia Emerging Tools for Acquisition and Interpretation of Whole-Brain Functional Data
In the last few years, optical techniques have emerged that allow near-simultaneous acquisition of neuronal activity at the whole-brain level and with single-cell resolution for small model organisms. Given the enormous density of interconnectivity of neurons in the brain, these techniques bear great potential for advancing our understanding of how the information underlying behavior is represented and processed by neuronal networks in a dynamic fashion and at the whole-brain level. At the same time, these new tools have transitioned neuroscience into the field of “Big Data”, where terabytes of data are produced per microscope and day. It is expected that major breakthroughs in coming years will result from making sense of these data sets. This calls for the application of advanced machine learning, statistics tools and mathematical modeling as well as an IT infrastructure capable of handling such data sets efficiently. This meeting will bring together experts and pioneers in these fields to identify synergies and new opportunities and to discuss the main challenges moving forward.