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Padraig Gleeson, 30 Apr 2014 14:58

OSB Workshop 2014: Building and sharing models of the cortex

This meeting will be the second main meeting of the Open Source Brain initiative (

Dates: 9am Wednesday 14th - 5pm Friday 16th May, 2014

Location: Hotel Calabona, Alghero, Sardinia

Local organisers: Sergio Solinas, Irene Solinas
Organising committee: Padraig Gleeson, Eugenio Piasini, Angus Silver, Boris Marin

Focus of the meeting

There are an increasing number of cortical cell and network models being developed and made publicly available, from networks of leaky integrate and fire neurons based on cortical connectivity and firing properties, to multicompartmental, conductance based cell models. Many of these are being reused, reimplemented and extended to address new scientific questions by labs around the world.

In this meeting, we will look at the range cortico-thalamic models out there which are of widespread interest and work towards getting these into public, open source repositories, in standardised formats such as NeuroML and PyNN. We will investigate the steps needed to ensure these models are well tested, annotated and ready for use as research tools by the attendees and the wider community.

There will be presentations from experimentalists who are producing the data to constrain these models, as well as simulator and application developers who will create the infrastructure to build, simulate, analyse and share the models.

Confirmed speakers

Sharon Crook, Arizona State University, USA
Markus Diesmann, Research Center Jülich, Germany
Dirk Feldmeyer, Aachen University, Germany
Alon Korngreen, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
Dave Lester, SpiNNaker project, University of Manchester, UK
Angus Silver, University College London
Tim Vogels, University of Oxford, UK
Daniel Wójcik, Nencki Institute, Poland


There is no fee for attending the workshop, but registration is required. Please fill out the registration form here. Deadline for registration: April 15th.

Provisional Agenda

There will be a NeuroML Editorial Board meeting on Tues 13th May. More details will follow on the main NeuroML mailing list. Interested parties are welcome to attend; please email

Wednesday 14th May, 9am - 6pm

table{border:1px solid black}.
{background:#ddd}. | |Morning Session | |
| Introduction to the aims of the Open Source Brain initiative| What are the goals? What resources have been developed already? How can we get experimentalists to contribute data & improve the models? |
{background:#ddd}. | |Afternoon Session | |
| Detailed modelling of individual cortical neurons | Types of models which will be discussed include: Synaptic integration in L5 Pyramidal cell - Larkum et al. 2009; L5 Pyramidal Neuron - Almog and Korngreen 2014; Layer 5b Pyramidal cell - Hay et al. 2011 |

Thursday 15th May, 9am - 6pm

table{border:1px solid black}.
{background:#ddd}. | |Morning Session | |
| Network models of cortex: reduced models | Examples of models of this type on OSB: Balanced network with inhibitory plasticity - Vogels et al. 2011; Minimal HH models - Pospischil et al. 2008; Izhikevich Spiking Neuron Model ; Self Sustained Network Activity - Destexhe 2009; Sparsely connected spiking neuron network - Brunel 2000 |
{background:#ddd}. | |Afternoon Session | |
| Network models of cortex: multicompartmental, conductance based models | Examples of models of this type on OSB: Thalamocortical network - Traub et al. 2005; Primary Auditory Cortex network |

Friday 16th May, 9am - 6pm

table{border:1px solid black}.
{background:#ddd}. | |Morning Session | |
| OSB Symposium: Oscillation and resonance in CNS network loops | Organiser: Sergio Solinas This symposium aims to cluster the neuroscientists actively working in the field of neuronal network oscillations within the framework of OSB in order to promote the integration of models and tools in this area. |
. | |
Afternoon Session* | |
| The future of OSB | Where do we go from here? What tools/infrastructure do we need to achieve real collaborative modelling in computational neuroscience? |


Special rates are available at the meeting venue, Hotel Calabona, Alghero. Please use Customer Code: BRAIN when making reservations (leave Promo Code blank).

Reaching Alghero

Alghero is easy to reach thanks to national and international flights that land daily (list of Companies and destinations:\_en.asp).

Alghero-Fertilia Airport is located just 12 km from the Workshop venue and is the most convenient way to reach the meeting venue. The Airport is very well connected to Alghero by public transportation (buses run every 15 minutes, one way fare Euro 0,70) and by taxi. The major rent-a-car companies are located at the airport arrival area.

The city is also well connected to the main Mediterranean sea routes. The port of Porto Torres is located 45 Km away. Alternatively, Olbia-Costa Smeralda airport is 128Km away and Cagliari airport is 225Km away.


If you have any enquiries about this meeting, please don’t hesitate to contact:


This meeting is being generously supported by:


Illustration courtesy of Matteo Farinella