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Connectomics: Opportunities and Challenges for Machine Learning
Viren Jain · Moritz Helmstaedter

Fri Dec 07 07:30 AM -- 06:30 PM (PST) @ Emerald Bay 6, Harveys Convention Center Floor (CC)
Event URL: http://www.nips2012connectomics.net »

The "wiring diagram" of essentially all nervous systems remains unknown due to the extreme difficulty of measuring detailed patterns of synaptic connectivity of entire neural circuits. At this point, the major bottleneck is in the analysis of tera or peta-voxel 3d electron microscopy image data in which neuronal processes need to be traced and synapses localized in order for connectivity information to be inferred. This presents an opportunity for machine learning and machine perception to have a fundamental impact on advances in neurobiology. However, it also presents a major challenge, as existing machine learning methods fall short of solving the problem.
The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers in machine learning and neuroscience to discuss progress and remaining challenges in this exciting and rapidly evolving field. We aim to attract machine learning and computer vision specialists interested in learning about a new problem, as well as computational neuroscientists at NIPS who may be interested in modeling connectivity data. We will discuss the release of public datasets and competitions that may facilitate further activity in this area. We expect the workshop to result in a significant increase in the scope of ideas and people engaged in this field. As NIPS bridges both the neuroscience and computer science communities, it is the ideal venue for this type of workshop.

Author Information

Viren Jain (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
Moritz Helmstaedter (Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology)

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