Investigation of the brain and its functions is one of the most intriguing intellectual tasks of modern science. Leading countries have initiated major brain research programs, while the creation of a national neuroscience project in Russia has also been discussed at the state level and is currently underway. In this regard, the attempt to combine the efforts of various scientific disciplines in the search for new approaches to this problem is important and timely. One of the most interesting prospects in this novel area is the view of the brain as a complex physical system that is accessible to research methods of theoretical physics and mathematics. Taking into account such a point of view, and understanding that brain research is a topic that goes beyond our individual knowledge and skills, we would like to invite scientists working in various fields of theoretical physics, physics of complex systems, and mathematics, to express their views on the potential research directions of the principles of brain structure and function and, in a broader context, of its higher cognitive functions.
To initiate the communication, on December 4 and 5, 2019 we are organizing a mini-workshop titled “Theoretical physics and mathematics of the brain: bridges across disciplines and applications.” The first day (Tuesday) will be held at Moscow State University, the second day (Wednesday) – at Skoltech. The event organizers are Konstantin Anokhin (Institute for Advanced Brain Studies of the Moscow State University), Alexander Gorsky (IITP RAS), Yuri Kotelevtsev (Center for Neurobiology and Brain Restoration of Skoltech) and Sergei Nechaev (Center Poncelet).
The tentative list of workshop topics includes:
- Geometric and dynamic properties of brain networks, spreading of excitations on networks.
- The brain as a critical system: theoretical and experimental points of view.
- Information and entropic aspects of brain functioning.
- Topological data analysis, mapping of a connectome into a space of stimuli.
- Connectome as a statistical system and its relation to other areas of complex distributed systems.
The speakers at the workshop are:
- Konstantin Anokhin (MSU, Moscow)
- Mikhail Belyaev * (Skoltech, Moscow)
- Roman Borisyuk (Univ. of Exeter., UK)
- Alexander Gorsky (IITP, Moscow)
- Alexander Frolov * (IHNA&NPh, Moscow)
- Vladimir Itskov * (PSU, USA)
- Yakov Kazanovich (Institute of Mathematical Problems of Biology, Pushino)
- Alexey Kulakov (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, USA)
- Vladimir Nekorkin (IAP, Nizhny Novgorod)
- Alexey Ossadtchi (HSE, Moscow)
- Elena Popova (Skoltech, Moscow)
- Vadim Ushakov * (Kurchatov Inst, Moscow)
* – to be confirmed