The brain between theory and experiment: The role of heterogeneities in learning and computations
The Dept. of Physiology and Pharmacology
cordially invites you to a special seminar
Monday, February 6th 2023
Dr. Ran Darshan
Janelia Research Campus
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
“The brain between theory and experiment: The role of heterogeneities in learning and computations”
The seminar will take place in
Room 527, Sackler Faculty of Medicine.
at 9:00 sharp!
The field of neuroscience is undergoing a revolution in its ability to characterize neural circuits during behavior. Emerging new data sets reveal an unprecedented level of diversity in neural dynamics and complexity in the organization of brain circuits. In the talk, I will demonstrate how, by combining theoretical concepts with experimental results, we can utilize this complexity and diversity to gain a deeper understanding of brain functions. I will discuss how heterogeneity in synaptic connections and neural activity challenges our understanding of how neural circuits process information involving continuous features, such as our sense of direction. I will also demonstrate how new data sets on diverse subthreshold voltage activity of brain cells challenge our current understanding of the dynamics of cortical circuits. To overcome these challenges, I will present new theories and models of brain circuits and show how, in some cases, incorporating diversity can even improve the performance of neural circuits. Finally, I will use data-driven approaches, along with analysis of perturbation experiments and theory, to uncover a circuit mechanism for spreading task-related activity throughout the cortex during learning. These works illustrate how theoretical and computational methods can be effectively utilized in collaboration with experimental studies to gain a mechanistic understanding of brain functions in the era of big data in neuroscience.