A mathematical framework for neuroscience: NeuroMat hosts event of large international brain initiatives

According to the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF), the current large-scale international brain initiatives are from the USA (the BRAIN Initiative and the Allen Institute), Europe (Human Brain Project), Japan (Brain/MINDS), Israel (IBT), Republic of Korea (Korea Brain Research Institute), China (China Brain) and Australia (AusBrain). Therefore, there are no internationally recognized Brazilian brain projects, not even Latin-american projects.

FAPESP's Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (NeuroMat) aims to change this specific scenario of research by bringing a Brazilian project to a central position in the discussion on how the brain works. The strategy to do so is to put original and innovative mathematical research aiming to address the main issues in neuroscience as the core of our scientific project. As far as we know, NeuroMat is the only world class brain project initiative pursuing this strategy. And there is room for international collaboration and advancement.

The main difference between NeuroMat and these international initiatives relates to its goals. The US, European and Japanese projects share the ambition to map the brain in unprecedented detail, creating a picture of its different cell types, their interconnections and activity patterns. NeuroMat does not aim to map the brain in detail. As stated in NeuroMat's original project: “The mission of the Center is to develop the new mathematics which is deemed necessary to account for a Theory of the Brain, accounting for the full experimental data gathered by neuroscience research.”

A common aspect to all these projects is that they require the development of new neuroscience data management standards and interchange tools. NeuroMat shares these needs, and has been making efforts to bring innovative contributions to this scenario. NeuroMat will host in São Paulo, from April 24 to 29, a wide gathering of scientists that are affiliated to many of the large international brain initiatives to discuss “High-Performance Computing, Stochastic Modeling and Databases in Neuroscience.” The workshop will mark the inauguration of NeuroMat's High-Performance Computing (HPC) Center. Details and live streaming may be found here.

Other NeuroMat activities that are planned include a “Workshop on Scientific Dissemination” and an international workshop on Open Source Databases and Software in Neuroscience, respectively in June and October 2016.

This piece is part of NeuroMat's Newsletter #26. Read more here

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