Sept. 5, 2017

Kick-starting neuromodulation research

Blue Brain, one of the leading partners of the Human Brain Project’s Brain Simulation Platform, is launching a three-day conference to kick-start neuromodulation research. 

The conference, “Neuromodulation of Neural Microcircuits (NM²)”, runs from 18-20 September 2017 and will feature world-leading scientists from across the HBP.

Neuromodulators are the master switches that dynamically reconfigure neural microcircuits and shape brain states by controlling functions within and between neurons.

Recently, the Blue Brain, of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, discovered that neocortical microcircuit activity shifts from synchronous to asynchronous network states and that these are tightly controlled by neuronal and synaptic physiology.

This effect is strikingly similar to the function of neuromodulators, which control neurons and synapses to sculpt the emergence of brain states. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms by which neuromodulators operate is not only fundamental to the Blue Brain’s pioneering work in simulating brain function and dysfunction, but also for the goals of the wider Human Brain Project.

The Conference will bring together world-leading experts to:

  • Identify the state-of-the-art mechanisms of the neuromodulation of neural microcircuits
  • Illuminate various strategies enabling the measurement of neuromodulatory states in brain health and disease
  • Integrate knowledge to build a unifying view of the neuromodulation of different brain regions
  • Inform and attract new talent to drive forward neuromodulation research
  • Inspire future directions that will transform our understanding of the neuromodulation of brain function and dysfunction and therapeutic intervention.

The NM2 Conference will also provide a unique platform for students and junior researchers to interact with leaders in the field to collectively take part in shaping the future course of neuromodulatory research. Students and postdocs attending the event are also invited to submit abstracts during registration to present a poster at the Conference.

The first two days of the Conference, 18-19 September, are being held at the Swisstech Convention Center on the EPFL Campus in Lausanne, before the Conference moves on 20 September to the Headquarters of the Blue Brain at the Campus Biotech in Geneva.

Registration is open on the NM2 Conference website until 15 September.