Scientists compute a brainy future at UQ

10 Aug 2006

A unique gathering of neuroscientists will process some of the big questions – and even bigger equations – when the group comes together at The University of Queensland on 13–14 August.

Australia’s first ‘Workshop in Mathematical and Computational Neuroscience’ has attracted some of the world’s top mathematical and computational neuroscientists.

The Directors of Riken's Brain Science Institute, Japan, and the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, UK, along with six other national and international leaders in this field, will be speaking. Issues to be discussed include how brains represent information, learn, process visual inputs and make decisions in an uncertain world.

UQ’s computational scientists, Professor Kevin Burrage and Associate Professor Geoffrey Goodhill, will both be presenting papers at the workshop. Dr Goodhill said the gathering was a ‘first’ for Australian neuroscience.

"Never before in Australia have we had a workshop entirely focused on modelling how brains work,” Dr Goodhill said.

“This kind of interdisciplinary approach really represents the future of science in the 21st century.  In the long term, the goals are to understand why biological brains are such powerful computing devices, and to use these insights to both build smarter computers and help treat cognitive disorders.”

The workshop is sponsored by the Queensland Brain Institute and the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute.

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Notes to the Editor
The Queensland Brain Institute was formed in 2003 as part of the Queensland Government’s Smart State Initiative, building on a long history of neuroscience at The University of Queensland.  QBI is dedicated to understanding the molecular basis of brain function and applying this knowledge to the development of new therapeutics to treat brain and mental health disorders.