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.