The INCF Neuroinformatics blog
One of the high points of our year is taking part in the overwhelming array of new exciting neuroscience at SfN.
As in previous years, the INCF exhibit booth at the annual SfN meeting was well attended. Our co-location (see map) with other neuroinformatics projects and initiatives helps - visitors interested in our activities are likely interested in our booth neighbors, and vice versa - and probably also our hosted program of live neuroinformatics demos. (Though we suspect that our comfy sofa might also be a contributing factor.)
This year we added a satellite workshop to our schedule, "Neuroshare revisited" on November 12, for a discussion on the state of Neuroshare and possible future developments to the format in order to improve and facilitate access to neurophysiological data. It was organized through the INCF Program on Standards for Datasharing, and we invited data acquisition system vendors, data analysis software developers, and users to talk about needs and problems - it turned out to be a very interesting discussion. The group agreed that extending Neuroshare would be a worthwhile endeavor.
We devoted a full day of our neuroinformatics demo program to digital brain atlasing. Representatives from the INCF Program on Digital Brain Atlasing held a "Walk-in Registration Clinic" for researchers with rodent data and an interest in sharing them through the Program's infrastructure. We were even visited by George Paxinos (yes, that Paxinos)!
Our other two scientific programs were also represented - the Program on Ontologies of Neural Structures through the "Adopt a Neuron" campaign which was also presented in our booth during a demo, and the Program on Multiscale Modeling through a demo of a reference implementation in progress for NineML (the Network Interchange for Neuroscience ML). And there were many other interesting demo contributions from Programs, Nodes and the scientific community - you can see them all here.
This dazzling array of new information - posters, lectures, exhibitors and a constant flow of brief tweeted updates - and many interactions with scientific community from all over the world is what makes the SfN week one of the high points of our year, and this year was no exception. Unfortunately, there is never any way to see all that is potentially interesting at SfN. But some key lectures have been saved for posterity in video format on SfN's YouTube channel - for instance the Kavli minisymposium on legal implications of neuroscience advances.
The Congress itself takes place September 4-6. But there are also other events planned before and after the main meeting.
We have just made the 2011 Abstract book, with abstracts for all keynotes, workshops, demos and posters, available as a pdf for browsing and download (including a handy clickable index at the end!)
Satellite Workshop on September 3
The Congress kicks off already September 3 with the satellite workshop "Toward a Global Neuroinformatics Infrastructure" organized in collaboration with the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society at their yearly meeting EMBC, held at the Boston Marriott Copley Place Hotel. The workshop will include presentations from the leaders of large neuroscience infrastructure projects from around the world:
Main meeting September 4-6
The main meeting will feature 5 keynote lectures, 8 spotlight presentations of selected demos and posters, 12 workshop speakers, 35 demos and and 130 posters, as well as the INCF US Node Special Symposium (with another 9 lectures) on the afternoon of the last meeting day, September 6. The same day, September 6, also offers lunch seminars sponsored by BIRN. All details can be found on the meeting web pages.
INCF Task Force meetings September 7-8
Taking advantage of the fact that a large part of our community is present in Boston, after the main meeting we are also organizing meetings for many of the Task Forces associated with the INCF Scientific Programs, including a cross-Task Force hackathon at MIT on September 8.
The 20th conference of the Organisation for Computational Neurosciences (OCNS) takes place in Stockholm, July 23-28 - and INCF is there.
We can now, based on empirical testing in the form of the CNS*2011 reception, conclude that the Stockholm City Hall is just about a comfortable fit for some five hundred mingling conference attendees - where they fit the additional eight hundred people at the 1300-guest Nobel banquet will remain a mystery.
CNS*2011 attendees in the Stockholm City Hall's Golden Hall.
One of the high points of the CNS*2011 meeting are the poster sessions - this year, almost four hundred posters were presented in three intense poster sessions.
Among the work presented we found one of the first posters produced from the EuroSPIN Erasmus Mundus program, which offers joint doctoral degrees in neuroinformatics and is offered by a consortium consisting of four universities in INCF member countries: National Centre for Biological Science, Bangalore, India; University of Edinburgh, UK; Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, Germany, and KTH in Sweden . We also found a poster on CoCoMac 2.0, a macaque brain atlas with an interface built on the INCF Scalable Brain Atlas.
Left: Oliver Muthmann, EuroSPIN PhD student, and Jeanette Hellgren Kotaleski, EuroSPIN Program Coordinator. Right: Rembrandt Bakker, explaining the CoCoMac 2.0 poster to Hermann Cuntz.
For the INCF Multiscale Modeling program, one of the most important events at CNS*2011 was the workshop Emerging standards in network modeling, which served as an update on the state of the art in the field, as well as the release of the initial version of the model description language NineML. Documentation and tutorials for NineML can be found at the INCF Software Center NineML pages.
This summer, you can meet INCF at a number of conferences: HBM in Quebec, IBRO in Florence, CNS in Stockholm, and our own Neuroinformatics Congress in Boston.
This Saturday, June 25, our summer conference season starts in earnest, with our satellite workshop on Neuroimaging Data Sharing and Data Access in Quebec, just before the launch of HBM*2011. The workshop has been greeted with much interest and is full - close to 100 attendees - with a waiting list. The following week, June 26-30, we will be present as exhibitors at HBM*2011, in booth 104.
Two weeks later, July 14-18, we will exhibit at the 8th IBRO World Congress of Neuroscience in Florence. Since we have recently become a member of IBRO, we are looking forward to meeting the IBRO community. Come meet us in booth 35!
Less than a week after IBRO, the CNS*2011 conference opens its doors in our hometown Stockholm. We have an exhibitor table, we are organizing a workshop on Emerging standards in network modeling on July 27, and we are also one of the local co-organizers - you'll meet us in various places during the conference days July 23-28.
After these three events, it is a month to go to the great finale - our own Neuroinformatics Congress in Boston, September 4-6. We are actually starting a day early, September 3, with a workshop during the last day of the EMBC conference; Toward a Global Neuroinformatics Infrastructure which includes talks by four world leaders of neuroinformatics and a concluding panel discussion. The registration fee for this last day of EMBC will be significantly discounted for Neuroinformatics Congress attendees.
And then? We start looking forward to meeting you all at SfN*2011 in Washington DC in November, of course.
On May 10-11, representatives from the INCF National Nodes met in Stockholm for the Nodes Workshop.
Last week, 33 representatives from 14 of the 16 INCF National Nodes met in Stockholm for the fourth Nodes Workshop. This meeting's theme was "Neuroinformatics Infrastructure". The INCF Secretariat presented its visions for global neuroinformatics infrastructure, and each Node was asked to give a brief overview of their country's current neuroscience infrastructure status. Breakout discussion sessions collected input and ideas on data sharing, infrastructure needs, and teaching and training aspects of neuroinformatics.
As usual, the meeting also afforded plenty of opportunities for discussion and networking between the participants - over coffee, during the poster session and at lunch and dinner. We look forward to meeting you all again next time!