Contemporary neurobiological experiments often generate complex data sets with many dependent variables collected continuously through time. Appropriate analysis tools are needed to uncover relationships among signals and allow for a better understanding of the underlying biological processes. This workshop aims to give students an introduction to the theory and practical application of computational methods for the analysis of neurobiological data. The workshop will be composed of lectures, hands-on use of key analysis methods, and a course project. Several data sets will be provided for students’ use. Instruction and exercises will use MATLAB, the most commonly used data analysis and visualization tool for quantitative sciences; however, no prior experience with this software is required. Each student will be asked to complete a project during the workshop. Students will have the option to use their own data in the projects or use data provided by the instructors. The instructors and TAs will provide support at every phase of the project, including selecting an appropriate topic, deciding on analyses, programming, and visualization. Although the course will focus on signals from animal behaviour and electrophysiology, the methods taught in the course will be highly applicable to many other types of signals encountered in neurobiological research.
This 11-day workshop is comprised of lectures, hands-on use of key analysis methods, and a course project, and will include break days.
Participants will have the opportunity to receive university credit for this course.
- Introduction to MATLAB
- Data visualization
- Overview of analysis methods for neurobiological signals
- Fundamental concepts in signal processing
- Working with discrete data (action potentials, behavioural events, etc.)
- Methods for working with multiple simultaneous signals (e.g. EEG signals)
- Analysis of imaging data
David Euston, Aaron Gruber, Artur Luczak, Majid Mohajerani, Masami Tatsuno, Bruce McNaughton (Director of the Polaris Brain Dynamics research group).
Bios of the CCBN faculty members can be found at: www.uleth.ca/artsci/neuroscience/our-faculty
Before beginning the course, participants are strongly encouraged to access the following materials to ensure that they are able to effectively grasp the course content:
- Getting Started Guide: www.mathworks.com/help/pdf_doc/matlab/getstart.pdf
- Optional books:
- Wallisch, P., Lusignan, M., Benayoun, M., Baker, T., Dickey, A.S, & Hatsopoulosn N. (2014). Matlab for Neuroscientists. Academic Press. (U of L library has license for 10 simultaneous users: http://darius.uleth.ca/record=b1960794~S1 )
- Aron, A., Aron, E.N., & Coups, E.J. (2009). Statistics for Psychology (5th Edition). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.
- Preference will be given to Graduate level students (Masters or PhD) and Postdoctoral fellows registered full-time in a post-secondary institution working in neuroscience or a related discipline.
- Undergraduate students registered full-time in a post-secondary institution working in neuroscience or a related discipline, involved in a research project and sponsored by an academic faculty member may apply.
- No prior experience with any programming language is required. Students will learn to use the MATLAB computing environment.
- Students can outline previous experience on the application. Previous experience will be taken into consideration during adjudication.
- Students are expected to have familiarity with hypothesis testing and basic concepts of neuroscience (e.g. action potentials).
Registration is limited to 25 students. Priority is given to graduate students who meet the eligibility criteria and are registered in a Campus Alberta Neuroscience partner institution (University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge).
The application period will run January 15-February 21, 2021.
To be considered for the workshop, applicants are required to submit:
- Online Application Form.
- Applicant curriculum vitae (in .pdf format)
- A Letter of Supervisor Support
- Instructions for Supervisors:Please be sure to specify how participation in this workshop will benefit the student’s project/program of study and the supervisor’s own program of research.
- Supervisors can either send their letters directly to Campus Alberta Neuroscience at [email protected] OR with the applicant curriculum vitae. In either case, the letter of support must be signed and in protected .pdf format.
Items 2 and 3 above must be submitted via email to Campus Alberta Neuroscience at [email protected] by the application deadline with the following subject line:
Computational Methods Workshop Application Supporting Documents – [LAST NAME, FIRST NAME]
Please note that all application components – including the Online Application Form, applicant CV, and Letter of Supervisor Support – must be received by the application deadline (February 21, 2021). Failure to receive all components of the application will result in your application being marked as ‘incomplete’ and will not be considered by the reviewers.
NO FEES ARE DUE AT THE TIME OF APPLICATION. If you are invited to attend the workshop, more information will be provided to you on how to pay your registration fee.
Students from outside of Alberta and those from Alberta who are not registered full-time in a partnered institution will be required to cover additional costs associated with the course, including registration and tuition at the University of Lethbridge.
** Applicants from outside the province may be eligible for up to $200 in support from Campus Alberta Neuroscience to attend the workshop. If you would like to inquire further about this opportunity, please contact [email protected] There are limited funds available so be sure to inquire as soon as you apply.
The Computational Neuroscience Committee will review and rank all complete applications. *Applications will be evaluated on merit and on the following criteria:
- Preference to graduate students working in neuroscience or related discipline
- Preference to Alberta-based students studying at a CAN partner institution (University of Alberta, Calgary or Lethbridge)
- Quality of student’s CV
- Benefit to student’s program of study/project
- Contribution to Supervisor’s program of neuroscience research
Notice of Decision
- Applicants will be notified of the Committee’s decision in writing by Campus Alberta Neuroscience
- Students accepted into the workshop will be provided with a registration package in advance. The package will include additional details on the workshop content, course credit and fees, travel, meals and accommodation.
If you have any questions or concerns about the upcoming workshop, please contact Renée Dumas.