Brain Dynamics on Multiple Scales - Paradigms, their Relations, and Integrated Approaches

Workshop Report

Motivation for the workshop was that previous research in the brain sciences frequently focused on a single spatial or temporal scale, often related to just one speci c paradigm, experimental technique, or theoretical approach. Only as a more recent trend, that we wished to foster, have integrated approaches been put forward, which, for example, provide mathematical or experimental links between the dynamics on di erent brain scales, combine di erent experimental or modelling methods, analyse large and heterogeneous data sets in multiple ways or at di erent resolution, or simulate multiple area models of cognitive functions and whole subsystems of the brain. It seems plausible that understanding a multiple-scale system made up of complex interacting dynamical elements like the brain, likewise requires a science that puts emphasis more on the relations between its building blocks, its scales, methods, and paradigms, rather than individual such entities alone.

The main aim of the conference was therefore to identify and nurture bridges or connections between two, three or more "elements of brain science". Elements here was understood in a broad sense (disciplines, methods, paradigms, scales, levels, etc.) - emphasis was on combining di erent elements in novel ways, as well as the expected bene ts of the proposed links, that is, how they might contribute to the goal of understanding brain function.

The 5-day workshop was attended by 75 participants, and comprised 16 invited and 15 contributed talks as well as 37 posters. We had a good mix of experienced senior researchers, aspiring younger scientists, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. It is noteworthy that we had more than twice as many applications than places available. Many attendants brought posters that hung for the whole duration of the conference and were presented in 3 lively and open-ended evening sessions. This and also the intensive
discussion sessions were very well received. The workshop gave a comprehensive overview in the area of the workshop topics. The participants appreciated in particular the breadth of the program. We observed an extraordinary amount of interaction between participants from di erent elds and backgrounds which may lead to future collaborations.

The workshop identi ed several lines of research that may serve important integrating functions and see growth in the future, for example, networks of phase oscillators (Kuramoto model and its extensions), models for large scale and systems level simulations, or standardized platforms for data sharing, analysis and simulation. However, to close the gap between mechanisms of information processing and cognition and macroscopic brain dynamics as it is reected by EEG and MEG oscillations remains a challenge for
the future.