The Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture (http://www.ccsem.infn.it/) has recently opened the International school of brain cells and circuits dedicated to the Italian Nobel laureate “Camillo Golgi”. Understanding the brain is a Grand Challenge for the Humankind with social implications in the biomedical and technological fields.
Our vision is that, in order to explain brain functions, it is fundamental to integrate molecular and cellular knowledge into microcircuits and large-scale network. To this aim we are starting the school program by launching the course on “Modeling the brain: from neurons to integrated systems”.
The 2015 Course, which has been coordinated by the Center Ettore Majorana with the collaboration of IRCCS C.Mondino (Pavia) and Centro Fermi (Rome), has also the support of the Human Brain Project Education Programme. The course will be dedicated to brain modeling and theory.
Bottom-up models, descending from cellular and molecular biophysics, and top-down models, derived from neuropsychology and non-invasive brain measurements (mostly MRI), are both needed to integrate the micro-, meso and macro-scale of brain organization.
Brain theories need to interface with new experimental measurements and cellular circuit models simulations. This approach requires merging expertise and knowledge deriving from different disciplines, from Physics and Mathematics to Biology, Psychology and Medicine.
The course on Brain modelling is now over. It was really a great course in a great place and, despite the winter weather, we think it was fantastic! Very interesting talks and a lot of enthusiasm that are an important step for the formation of many students who also established links needed to carry out our work as true scientific community.
The Course Directors
Claudia Gandini Wheeler-Kingshott