[ISEA2011] Panel: Mag­nus Richard­son – Mod­els of Spik­ing Neu­rons

Panel Statement

Panel: NeuroArts

Start­ing with the work of Gal­vani in the 18th cen­tury and end­ing with mod­ern, su­per-com­puter ap­proaches, this talk aims to give an overview of the ba­sics of how neu­rons un­der­lie the nat­ural com­pu­ta­tion that takes place in the ner­vous sys­tem. I will cover some of the tech­niques that have been used for mea­sur­ing ac­tiv­ity in the ner­vous sys­tem at dif­fer­ent spa­tial and tem­po­ral scales, how it came to be thought that neu­rons are the basic com­pu­ta­tional unit of the brain, how in­for­ma­tion flows through neu­rons and how neu­rons wire to­gether to form synapses – the chang­ing strengths of which are thought to rep­re­sent the stor­age of mem­o­ries. The talk will end with a dis­cus­sion of some re­cent spec­u­la­tive the­o­ries of how the neo­cor­tex  – the brain re­gion where our high level thought processes take place – might work.

  • Mag­nus Richard­son took his un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree in physics at the Uni­ver­sity of Ox­ford, where he stayed on to com­plete his doc­tor­ate in the­o­ret­i­cal physics in 1997. After three years of post­doc­toral re­search at the Weiz­mann In­sti­tute in physics and math­e­mat­ics in 2000 he moved to the Ecole Nor­male Su­perieure to study the cel­lu­lar ori­gins of os­cil­la­tions in neural net­works. Fol­low­ing four years at the EPFL Brain Mind In­sti­tute from 2002-2006, he took up his cur­rent po­si­tion of As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor at the Sys­tems Bi­ol­ogy Cen­tre, Uni­ver­sity of War­wick where his re­search aims to un­der­stand emer­gent states of ac­tiv­ity in net­works of neu­rons.