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This article is part of the supplement: Seventeenth Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting: CNS*2008

Open Access Open Badges Lecture presentation

Computational neuroscience and systems biology: the past, the now and the future

Erik De Schutter

Author Affiliations

Computational Neuroscience Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan

Theoretical Neurobiology, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

BMC Neuroscience 2008, 9(Suppl 1):L4  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-9-S1-L4

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:11 July 2008

© 2008 De Schutter; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Lecture presentation

Despite similar computational approaches, there is surprisingly little interaction between the computational neuroscience and the systems biology research communities. In this talk I reconstruct the history of the two disciplines and show that this may explain why they grew up apart. The separation is a pity, as both fields can learn quite a bit from each other. Systems biology is a better organized community which is very effective at sharing resources, while computational neuroscience has more experience in multiscale modeling and the analysis of information processing by biological systems. In the second part of the talk I will speculate about the future of computational neuroscience, both in its relation with the neuroscience field and with systems biology. I will recommend that where possible we should adapt our practices to current systems biology standards.