Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization -- Department for Nonlinear Dynamics and Network Dynamics Group
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BCCN AG-Seminar

Tuesday, 04.11.2008 17 c.t.

Optical control of neural population activity and growth

by Dr. Shy Shoham
from Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, Technion-IIT, Haifa, Israel

Contact person: Fred Wolf


Seminarraum Haus 2, 4. Stock (Bunsenstr.)


Spatiotemporal patterns of activity carried across large populations of neurons are the fundamental representation of information within the nervous system. Moreover, emerging evidence indicates that information processing in both the network and single-neuron levels are highly dependent on the correlation structure of multiple spike trains. I will describe the development of new optical and computational tools aimed at allowing controlled experimental emulation of network activity patterns and their correlation structure. First, we introduce new optical systems allowing control of increasingly complex spatiotemporal activity patterns in neural populations, focusing on holographic photo-stimulation which has several fundamental advantages in this application. Next, we introduce a general new computational strategy for exactly controlling the pair-wise correlation structure (defined in terms of auto- and cross-correlation functions) in multiple synthetic spike trains. This approach can be used to generate stationary or non-stationary correlated point processes, and allows the generation of network activity patterns with predictable spatio-temporal correlations. A third part of the talk will introduce a new approach for exact, flexible control of neurite outgrowth in three-dimensional neural cultures, and its possible applications.

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