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Wednesday, 5 pm CET, i.e, 11 am ET


Organized by David Hansel, Ran Darshan & Carl van Vreeswijk* 



About the Seminar

VVTNS  is a weekly digital seminar on Zoom targeting the theoretical neuroscience community. Created as the World Wide Neuroscience Seminar (WWTNS) in November 2020 and renamed in homage to Carl van Vreeswijk in Memoriam (April 20, 2022), its aim is to be a platform to exchange ideas among theoreticians. Speakers have the occasion to talk about theoretical aspects of their work which cannot be discussed in a setting where the majority of the audience consists of experimentalists. The seminars  are 45 min long followed by a discussion and are held on Wednesdays at 11 am EST. The talks are recorded with authorization of the speaker and are available to everybody on our YouTube channel.


To participate in the seminar you need to fill out a registration form after which you will

receive an email telling you how to connect.

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Thibaud Taillefumier

The University of Texas

at Austin

November 30, 2022

Neural networks in the replica-mean field limits

In this talk, we propose to decipher the activity of neural networks via a “multiply and conquer” approach. This approach considers limit networks made of infinitely many replicas with the same basic neural structure. The key point is that these so-called replica-mean-field networks are in fact simplified, tractable versions of neural networks that retain important features of the finite network structure of interest. The finite size of neuronal populations and synaptic interactions is a core determinant of neural dynamics, being responsible for non-zero correlation in the spiking activity and for finite transition rates between metastable neural states. Theoretically, we develop our replica framework by expanding on ideas from the theory of communication networks rather than from statistical physics to establish Poissonian mean-field limits for spiking networks. Computationally, we leverage our original replica approach to characterize the stationary spiking activity of various network models via reduction to tractable functional equations. We conclude by discussing perspectives about how to use our replica framework to probe nontrivial regimes of spiking correlations and transition rates between metastable neural states.



David Hansel

I am a theoretical neuroscientist at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris, France and visiting professor at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. I am mainly interested in the recurrent dynamics in the cortex and 

basal ganglia.

Carl van Vreeswijk *

I am a theoretical neuroscientist working at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris, France. My main interest is the dynamics of recurrent networks of neurons in the sensory system


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