Numerous experimental findings have pointed out that correlates of synaptic efficacy are distributed in a heterogeneous manner, spanning a few orders of magnitude with many weak and very fewer strong synapses. However, how such heterogeneity emerges through development and plasticity, and what functional role it plays in neuronal circuits, is still not well understood. There is currently no common conceptual framework to study this aspect of neural organization, and most theoretical models rely on overly simplifying assumptions about the underlying synaptic weight distribution.
To fill this gap, we have invited experimental and theoretical neuroscientists to exchange recent results and ideas that link heterogeneity in synaptic weights, synaptic plasticity, neural dynamics and computation. The objective of this workshop is to bring together researchers who approach these links from diverse viewpoints and techniques. In doing so, we hope to encourage discussions and new collaborations, and to collate various models that concern the functional role of heterogeneity in synaptic weights. An important subgoal of the workshop is to devise robust experimental designs that can challenge the proposed theoretical models and interpretations.