4th HBP Student Conference on Interdisciplinary Brain Research

21-22 January 2020 | Pisa, Italy

 

FAQs & ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Admission to all scientific sessions
  • Conference material
  • Coffee breaks during the conference

The fee does not include travel and accommodation. 

Registration fee waivers are available for a limited number of participants who successfuly submit an abstract for presentation. Participants can apply for fee waivers prior to the abstract submission deadline by sending an email to the organisers.

Pisa is easily accessible by air, train, bus or car. Detailed information can be found on the “Visit Pisa” website.

  1. Pisa by plane

Pisa has an airport: Aeroporto Internazionale Galileo Galilei Pisa or you can also fly to Florence: Aeroporto Amerigo Vespucci. For further information, have a look at the Pisa Airport or Florence Airport website.

      2. Pisa by car

If you decide to come by car, you will find Pisa at the crossroads of two large motorways:

A12/E80 connecting Nice, Geneve, Bern, Barcelona

A11/E76 connecting Florence, Ljubljana, Vienna, Zagreb, Munich, Bratislava, Budapest

      3. Pisa by train

The main railway station in Pisa is:

  • Stazione Ferroviaria Pisa Centrale.

There is also a connection between Pisa airport and Pisa main railway station, the Pisa Mover.

If you are planning to travel by train frequently, the following tickets provide for a cheaper journey:

More information on train tickets can be found on the website of the Trenitalia or Italiarail.

For international connections by bus, train or air visit Omio.

Further information about traveling to Pisa and other useful information can be found on the “Visit Pisa” website.

In order to get to the venue you can take the bus No. 2 or 4 from the main station and get off at the station S.Lorenzo. From there it only takes you 2 minutes to the venue. 

Ho(s)tels or Youth hostel:

– You can visit the website of the City of Pisa to find a hotel: Visit Pisa

– Affordable lodging: www.hostelpisa.it or www.german.hostelworld.com/Jugendherbergen/Pisa/Italien

Bed & Breakfast:

– Visit the website of Bed & Breakfast possibilities: www.bed-and-breakfast.it/mobile/de/pisa or www.booking.com

In Italy there are a lot of Bed & Breakfast possibilities also with a very high and exclusive standard!

Hotels: (prices for single rooms)

Category 2*       Hotel Moderno from € 33

                        Hotel Milano from € 45

Category 3*       Hotel Minerva from € 60

                        Royal Victoria Hotel from € 56

Category 4*       NH Pisa from € 67

                        Grand Hotel Duomo from € 61

  • Language
    The official language spoken in Italy is Italian. Pisa is located in the province of Tuscany. The most common foreign languages in Italy are German and English.
     
  • Time zone
    Pisa is located in the Central European Time Zone (CET = GMT+1).
     
  • Currency, credit cards, banking
    The official currency in Italy is the EURO (EUR, €). The most common international credit cards (such as Mastercard or Visa) as well as debit cards (Maestro) are generally accepted in Pisa. ATMs are available throughout the city.
    Tipping is not common in Italy. Restaurant, taxi and hairdresser bills include the service charge. However, if you are very happy with the service you got, leaving a few Euros (or to round up your bill) as a tip is the way forward, but think of 10 % as the maximum to leave (i.e. when you receive exceptional service).
     
  • Climate
    In Italy the climate is mediterranean with its hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. The average temperature in January in Pisa is between 2 and 11 °C (35 and 52 °F). 
    ​​​​​​​
  • Electric current
    In Italy you find power plugs and sockets of type F and L. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
     
  • Tap water
    Tap water should be safe to drink in Italy. 

Please note that the information provided on this site has been obtained from several different sources and therefore the organisers cannot accept any responsibility for errors therein.

 
The human brain is such a complex system that it can only be understood by combining knowledge and practices from multiple scientific fields. The 4th HBP Student Conference provides an open forum for the exchange of new ideas among young researchers working across various aspects of science relevant to the Human Brain Project (HBP). The conference offers a space for extensive scientific dialogue, both intra- and interdisciplinary, among peers and faculty through a variety of discussion sessions, lectures and social events.
 
Abstract submission is closed.

 


 

Registration deadline: 8 January 2020
 

REGISTRATION

Please note that registration for the conference is mandatory.
 

 

Registration fees in EUR

  Online registration until 8 January 2020 On-site registration
Students * 100.- 150.-
Regular participants 150.- 200.-
* A proof of your student status (student ID) will be required on site, otherwise a surcharge
(regular participant fee) has to be paid.

 

The registration fee includes admission to all scientific sessions, conference material and coffee breaks during the conference.
The fee does not include travel and accommodation. 

Registration fee waivers are available for a limited number of participants who successfuly submit an abstract for presentation. Participants can apply for fee waivers prior to the abstract submission deadline by sending an email to the organisers.
 

Confirmation of registration
You will receive an automatically generated notification via email after the registration has been completed. After your payment has been received, you will get a final confirmation.
After 8 January 2020, pre-registration will be closed, but you can also register on site at the venue.


Cancellations and refunds
Notice of cancellation has to be sent via email to the HBP Education Programme Office. The policy for refunding registration fees is as follows:

Written cancellation received:

before 30 September 2019: 80% refund
before 8 January 2020: 50% refund
from 8 January 2020: no refund.

No refunds will be granted for unattended events or early termination of attendance, in case of cancellation of speakers, lack of space in the conference room, or any other incidents during the conference that are beyond the control of the conference organisers. 


Letter of invitation
Individuals requiring an official letter of invitation from the conference organisers can request one by contacting the 4th HBP Student Conference organisers at education@humanbrainproject.eu. To receive a letter of invitation, delegates must register for the conference first and submit any necessary data, as stated in the online form. The letter of invitation does not financially obligate the conference organisers in any way. All expenses incurred in relation to the conference, the registration, and the attendance are the sole responsibility of the delegate.


Modification of the programme
The conference organisers reserve the right to modify the programme. No refunds can be granted in case of cancellation of speakers, lack of space in the conference room, or any other incidents during the conference that are beyond the control of the conference organisers.


Cancellation of the conference
In the event that the conference cannot be held or is postponed due to events beyond the control of the conference organisers (force majeure) or due to events that are not attributable to wrongful intent or gross negligence of the conference organisers, the conference organisers cannot be held liable by delegates for any damages, costs, or losses incurred, such as transportation costs, accommodation costs, costs for additional orders, financial losses, etc.

 

       

 

         

 

Combine the Student Conference with a hands-on workshop day!

The workshop day on 23 January is dedicated to hands-on project work on various tools and services developed in the HBP and will include parallel sessions on the HBP Neurorobotics Platform, high-performance computing, SpiNNaker, NEST and data curation. There will also be sessions on writing successful grant proposals, career development, diversity in research and dual use. Attendees of the Student Conference are invited to participate in the workshop day free of charge. Registration is possible through the conference registration system.
The number of participants is limited.

 

 

 

SCIENTIFIC PROGRAMME
 

Download the preliminary scientific programme:  Icon 4th HBP Student Conference_Preliminary programme (1.1 MB)

 

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS

Carstensen pic

Claudia Casellato obtained a PhD degree in Bioengineering in 2011 at the Politecnico di Milano. She spent several time abroad for education (International program ERASMUS/SOCRATES at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology) and for research collaborations (Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France; CITIC-University of Granada, Spain). She worked as a post-doc fellow at NeuroEngineering and medicAl Robotics Lab, of the Dept. of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, at the Politecnico di Milano. She joined, as co-investigator, EU grants MUNDUS (ICT) and REALNET (FET Proactive), international research projects on Space Human Physiology funded by the Space Agencies (Italian, European and NASA), clinical funded by NIH. She currently works as Assistant Professor at the Dept. of Brain and Behavioral Sciences of the University of Pavia, working in the EU Flagship Human Brain Project (HBP Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation).

Her research interests and activities have been and are oriented to deal with the fascinating topic of “human motor learning”, by tackling the issue both through a macroscopic approach, i.e. experimental set-up and protocols able to detect and interfere with the learning process in physio and pathological conditions, and through a microscopic approach, i.e. computational neural models embedded in behavioral loops, able to let emerge high-level functions from elementary neural features and circuit mechanisms, in physio- and pathological conditions as well.

 

Lecture title: Reconstruction and simulation of the cerebellar microcircuit

Computational models allow propagating microscopic phenomena into large-scale networks and inferencing causal relationships across scales. Here we reconstruct the cerebellar circuit by bottom-up modelling, reproducing the peculiar properties of this structure, which shows a quasi-crystalline geometrical organisation well defined by convergence/divergence ratios of neuronal connections and by the anisotropic 3D orientation of dendritic and axonal processes [D'Angelo et al, Front Cell Neurosci. 2016].

Therefore, a cerebellum scaffold model has been developed and tested. It maintains scalability and can be flexibly handled to incorporate neuronal properties on multiple scales of complexity. The cerebellar scaffold includes the canonical neuron types: Granular cell, Golgi cell, Purkinje cell, Stellate and Basket cells, Deep Cerebellar Nuclei cell. Placement was based on density and encumbrance values; connectivity on specific geometry of dendritic and axonal fields, and on  distance-based probability.

In the first release, spiking point-neuron models based on Integrate&Fire dynamics with exponential synapses were used. The network was run in the neural simulator pyNEST. Complex spatiotemporal patterns of activity, similar to those observed in vivo, emerged [Casali et al, Front Neuroinf. 2019]. For a second release of the microcircuit model, an extension of the generalised Leaky Integrate&Fire model has been developed, optimised for each cerebellar neuron type and inserted into the built scaffold [Geminiani et al, Front Comp Neurosci. 2019]. It could reproduce a rich variety of electroresponsive patterns with a single set of optimal parameters.

Complex single neuron dynamics and local connectome are key elements for cerebellar functioning.

Then, point-neurons have been replaced by detailed 3D multi-compartment neuron models. The network was run in the neural simulator pyNEURON. Further properties emerged, strictly linked to the morphology and the specific properties of each compartment.

This multiscale tool with different levels of realism has the potential to summarise in a comprehensive way the electrophysiological intrinsic neural properties that drive network dynamics and high-level behaviours.

The model, equipped with ad-hoc plasticity rules, has been embedded in a sensorimotor loop of EyeBlink Classical Conditioning. The network output evolved along repetitions of the task, therefore letting emerge three fundamental operations ascribed to the cerebellum: prediction, timing and learning of motor commands.

Dominik Kutra is a scientific software developer in the group of Anna Kreshuk in EMBL, Heidelberg, working on ilastik - the interactive learning and segmentation toolkit. Before joining the ilastik development team in 2017, he worked as a scientist on medical image processing related topics at Philips Research in Hamburg.

 

Lecture title: ilastik: Automating image analysis with machine learning

ilastik is a popular tool for interactive segmentation, classification and tracking. It was developed in order to make machine learning based image analysis accessible: Using it requires no experience in image processing. In ilastik, the user interactively trains a classifier by annotating examples. In this talk I will give an overview of the fundamentals ilastik was built upon, as well as an outlook on the current and future developments at the Kreshuk Group. Furthermore I will focus on ilastik workflows that are most applicable for the HBP users and present how ilastik is used in the HBP.

Julia Guiomar pic Dr. Guiomar Niso is a Postdoctoral Researcher working at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM). She holds an MSc in Telecommunications Engineering (ETSIT-UPM, 2003-2008), MSc in Bioengineering and Telemedicine (UPM, 2008-2009) and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering (UPM, 2008-2013). From 2013–2016, she moved to Canada, as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University. There Dr. Niso contributed outstanding brain-imaging advances and led the efforts in many open science international initiatives: pioneering open software & open data repositories & open standards to store, organise, process and share electrophysiological data, with profound impact on the community. She founded HERMES, a free open-source software package for the analysis of functional brain connectivity (Niso et al. 2013) and contributes to Brainstorm, a collaborative, open-source application dedicated to the analysis of brain recordings (Niso et al. 2019). She also premiered the concept of open-access repositories for MEG with the Open MEG Archives (OMEGA, Niso et al. 2016). And lead the effort to develop the MEG-BIDS: the first common standard for organizing, describing and sharing MEG neuroimaging data  (Brain Imaging Data Structure, Niso et al. 2018). On the clinical front, she performed major contributions in neurological conditions (e.g. Epilepsy: Niso et al. 2015, Niso 2019). Her leadership in neuroimaging and engineering has been recognized by multiple grants and awards, highlighting the AXA Postdoctoral Fellowship received in 2017 to find early indications of Alzheimer’s Disease for better therapeutic interventions.

 

Lecture title: From the origins of M/EEG signals to the study of brain dynamics and time-resolved brain mapping

Our brains contain around 80.000 million neurons, each of which makes close to 1000 synaptic connections with the others. This rich environment provides the fundamental substrate for neuronal ensembles to become transiently synchronized, giving rise to cognitive functions such as perception, learning or thinking. Understanding these brain dynamic complex networks through neuroimaging data represents one of the biggest challenges for systems neuroscience. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG) are two non-invasive techniques with unrivalled temporal resolution capable of measuring the electromagnetic fields generated by the underlying neural assemblies. In this talk I will explain what are the origins of these fast brain signals, and how we are able to capture them and study time-resolved brain mapping. I will show how this oscillatory brain activity may provide translational biomarkers of healthy states and potential diseases, such as epilepsy or Alzheimer's Disease, when it becomes altered. To finalize, I will present some open tools that facilitate electrophysiological data analysis, and open resources to organize, obtain and share neuroimaging data. 

Klijn picture Andrew Rowley is a Senior Research Software Engineer working at the University of Manchester in the UK, where he has been part of the SpiNNaker software development team since 2014, taking the role early in the Ramp-Up Phase of the Human Brain Project.  Andrew graduated from St. Andrews University with a BSc in Computer Science and Physics and a PhD in Computer Science studying Artificial Intelligence.  He then joined the University of Manchester as a Software Engineer in 2009, before working as a Senior Software Engineer at the National Centre for Text Mining also in the University.  His work is in leading the SpiNNaker software team in the development of all parts of the software, including the low-level light-weight “operating system”, the SpiNNaker C code that compiles into instruction code that runs on the machine, the Python and Java code that translates user scripts into executable networks, and the software that allows users to access the machine remotely.  He also likes to help researchers execute their neural network simulations on SpiNNaker, and has been involved in various tasks to this end, including the first verified execution of a cortical microcircuit on a neuromorphic platform.

 

Lecture title: The SpiNNaker Platform

SpiNNaker is a massively parallel low power supercomputer designed to model large spiking neural networks in real time, and consists of 1 million ARM cores, each with a low instructional memory (ITCM) limit of 32K. The architectural design of the machine lends itself easily to the simulation of spiking neural networks due to its ability to send and route multiple small messages from any point on the machine to multiple other points simultaneously. It has also been used for other massively-parallel non-neural simulations, and has applications in real-time robotics.  This talk will introduce the machine, and will then discuss some of the different applications that can be run on the machine, including the link-up with the EU Human Brain Project's Neurorobotics Platform. I will also discuss how users can access the platform both as an introductory user getting to know the platform and for running larger jobs that might take longer to complete.

Kunkel picture

In his research, Tilo Schwalger wants to gain a theoretical understanding of how sensations, thoughts and actions emerge from the complex interactions of millions of nerve cells in the brain. Towards that goal, he develops new theoretical methods to bridge different scales in the brain, from the microscopic level of spiking neurons to the mesoscopic level of neuronal populations all the way to the macroscopic level of large-scale brain activity. For this multiscale approach, he uses mathematical tools from statistical physics, stochastic processes and nonlinear dynamics, such as mean-field theory, coarse-graining and dimensionality reduction techniques. His group's theoretical framework enables them to better understand neural variability in cortical circuits in terms of their biophysical mechanisms and their functional role for information processing.

Research topics include:

  • mean-field theories for finite-size systems of spiking neurons
  • dimensionality-reduction methods for neural population dynamics
  • stochastic neural field equations
  • coarse-graining of networks of interacting point processes
  • neural dynamics with colored noise

 

Lecture title: Neuronal dynamics

Abstract to follow soon. 

Kunkel picture

Dieter Sturma currently works as Professor of philosophy with special regard to ethics in the life sciences at the University of Bonn. He is the Director of the Institute of Science and Ethics (IWE), the Director of the German Reference Centre for Ethics in the Life Sciences (DRZE) as well as the Director at the Institute for Ethics in the Neurosciences (IMM-8) at Forschungszentrum Jülich.

 

Lecture title: Ethics in the neurosciences

The lecture starts with providing comprehensive overviews of “Ethics and Applied Ethics”. Ethics will be introduced as the scientific discipline concerned with moral problems. Approaches and methods will be presented which have been developed over the past years for framing and discussing ethical issues which arise in science in general as well as in the context of current neuroscientific research in particular.

ORGANISERS

Theresa Rass | Medical University Innsbruck
Laura Saxer | Medical University Innsbruck

 

PROGRAMME COMMITTEE

Chairs:
Sandra Diaz | Forschungszentrum Jülich
Gabriel Urbain | Ghent University

Committee:
Carmen Alina Lupascu | Italian National Research Council
Luca Peres | University of Manchester
Marta Turégano | Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Alexander van Meegen | Forschungszentrum Jülich
Alper Yegenoglu | Forschungszentrum Jülich

 

ABOUT THE VENUE

SANT’ANNA MAIN CAMPUS
CONVENT AND CLOISTER OF ST. GEROLAMO

Piazza martiri della libertà, 33
56127 Pisa PI
Italy