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04.06.2014 By: Claudia Däfler

Brain decoding

Tübingen hosts an International Workshop in a trend-setting research field of combined Neuro- and Computerscience

The international Workshop „Pattern Recognition in Neuroimaging“ (PRNI 2014, www.prni.org) with more than 100 participants takes place from 4th to 6th June 2014 at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Campus Tübingen. This young workshop builds an important bridge between basic researchers of Neuroscience and Computer Science.  Amongst others, the participants discuss new methods and applications of fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) - nowadays a common procedure in medical diagnosis. This workshop is a trend-setter for a new, dynamic and future-orientated research area. Moreover, it contributes to strengthen the research location Tübingen in the field of Computer Science, especially at the interface to Neuroscience. 


The brain produces „big data“

By decoding the brain, neuroscientists accumulate an enormous amount of data. These large and complex datasets have to be analyzed and interpreted. Professor Bernhard Schölkopf, Director at the Tübingen Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, points out: „Pattern recognition and machine learning techniques provide a new way to analyze complex and huge brain imaging datasets. Such methods are attracting much attention in the brain engineering community“. 

PRNI – a pioneer workshop 

The PRNI-Workshop started four years ago in Istanbul (2010), followed by Seoul (PRNI 2011), London (PRNI 2012) and Philadelphia (PRNI 2013). It is the goal of the PRNI workshop series to continue facilitating exchange of ideas between scientific communities, with a particular interest in new approaches to the interpretation of neural data driven by new developments in pattern recognition and machine learning. And it does so with growing importance.

Dr. Moritz Grosse-Wentrup, scientist at the MPI for Intelligent Systems and organisator of the conference, explains: „We will start with tutorials that will  introduce fundamental concepts in machine learning and provide an introduction to current developments in pattern recognition for neuroimaging, respectively. In the afternoon, a practical session will allow participants to familiarize themselves with the use of a state-of-the-art machine-learning toolbox for analyzing neuroimaging data. Later we will discuss amongst others the developments and applications of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), MEG (Magnetoencephalography) and EEG (Electroencephalography)". 

It´s an appreciation to organize an IEEE-Conference 

From 2010 to 2013 the PRNI-Workshops were hosted by cosmopolitan cities; in 2014 it takes place in Tübingen. This means that the renowned and important association „Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)“ shows confidence in the scientists and staff of the MPI for Intelligent Systems  that  they are able to organize this IEEE conference on a professional and reliable level. Therefore, the organisators have to comply with strict criteria, especially in respect to the compilation of the „conference proceedings“. Generally it is assumed that scientific contributions in IEEE journals and conference proceedings reach a high level of quality. 


Claudia Däfler, Public Relations MPI for Intelligent Systems Tübingen, claudia.daefler(at)tuebingen.mpg.de