Are dendrites necessary for cortical computation?

Dear Colleagues:


We are pleased to invite you to our virtual workshop entitled "Are dendrites necessary for cortical computation?” to be held on Tuesday, December 7, 10:00am - 1:00 pm EST.


This workshop is in the series of Emory University Initiative in Theory And Modeling of Living Systems (TMLS, virtual workshops, exploring provocative questions on the interface of biology and physical sciences. See for recordings of previous workshops in the program.




Many network models for modeling cortical function are built with single compartment units using a variety of more or less simple integrate and fire dynamics.  On the other hand, many biologically oriented research groups place great emphasis on the complex and detailed properties of active processing in pyramidal neuron dendrites.  The question to be addressed in this workshop is whether essential computational properties of biological cortical networks rely on dendritic processing, and if so, which?    Finally, could such properties be formalized in simpler ways than using full biophysical detail and substantially add to the function of more abstract network modeling?


Six exciting speakers will present their thoughts on the matter, and the audience will be able to interact with them in real time, asking questions through the YouTube comments interface.


Free registration is requested at:



We expect to stream the workshop live at the TMLS YouTube channel and we will send information, updates/changes to all registered participants before the workshop begins.


Confirmed Speakers and Titles:


Dieter Jaeger, Emory University, Introduction

Claudia Clopath, Imperial College London

Brent Doiron, University of Chicago “Cell specific inhibitory plasticity in assembly formation”

Bartlett Mel, University of Southern California "How to optimize a dendrite for binary subunit pooling”

Yiota Poirazi, IMBB-FORTH Crete  “Dendritic solutions to logical operations in models of human neurons”

Andreas Stöckel, University of Waterloo.  “Passive Dendrites as a Computational Resource in the Neural Engineering Framework”

Xiao-Jing Wang, New York University “Dendritic gating in the whole neocortex”


Please feel free to forward this announcement to anyone that you think might be interested. Hope to see you there!


Thank you,

            Dieter Jaeger

            (workshop organizer)



Dieter Jaeger

Professor,  Department of Biology

Emory University