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Engineering Approaches to Understand Functional Connectivity in Neocortex

Originally delivered Mar 31, 2021
  • Type:
    Archived Webinar
  • Level:
  • Duration:
    1 hour
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The mammalian neocortex is a crowning achievement of evolution. It is astronomically complex, with around 100 billion computational elements, each of which is staggeringly intricate by itself, and on the order of 1016 synaptic connections. In this talk, I plan to examine three questions related to neocortex.

First, what are the consequences of component miniaturization for neural computation? Second, how can we model neural computation on such a scale in a way that makes tractable predictions? Third, what does distributed neural computation “look like?” The bulk of the talk will focus on testing strong predictions from the relatively simple stabilized supralinear network (SSN) model of how neocortical networks behave in resting wakefulness, and how that behavior changes when the network is activated by sensory input or intentional movement.

Our data are collected from mouse somatosensory cortex, mainly under whole-cell patch clamp, but also using genetically encoded calcium indicators. Our results are mainly compatible with the SSN model.


John White

John A. White is Professor and Chair of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. He has joint appointments in the Program in Neuroscience and the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. He is PI and Program Director for BU BME’s long-standing NIGMS training grant in Quantitative Biology and Physiology. Prof. White received his BS in BME from Louisiana Tech University (1984), and his PhD in BME from Johns Hopkins University (1990).

Professor White’s research group uses engineering and...Read more

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