February 15, 2019

Computational Neuroscience in Upper Canada (CNUC) Talks


Richard Zemel (Computing Science, Toronto),
Frances Skinner (Toronto Western Research and UT)
Randy McIntosh (Rotman Research Institute and UT)

Conversations over coffee gave rise to a small group in southern Ontario with an interest in methods and problems in computational neuroscience. The primary motivation is to exchange information between experimentalists and computational modellers in order to investigate how computational and mathematical approaches have been-or could be-used to address critical issues in neuroscience. The talks are either in tutorial style, geared to general scientists, or more problem-oriented, where an issue is presented and the floor is then opened for discussion on how to deal with the issue (e.g., we have all this data from brain imaging; how do we characterize the dynamics?).

Nov. 10, 2004 --10:00 am
Michael Breakspear
(School of Physics at the University of Sydney & Brain Dynamics Centre at Westmead Hospital, Sydney, Australia)

Dynamics of a neural system with a multiscale architecture

The architecture of the brain is characterised by a modular organization repeated across a hierarchy of spatial scales - neurons, minicolumns, cortical columns, functional brain regions, etc. It is important to consider that the processes governing neural dynamics at any given scale are not only determined by the behaviour of other neural structures at that scale, but also by the emergent behaviour of smaller scales and the constraining influence of activity at larger scales. In this paper, we introduce a theoretical framework for neural systems in which the dynamicsare nested within a multiscale architecture. In essence the dynamics at each scale are determined by a coupled ensemble of nonlinear oscillators which embody the principle scale-specific neurobiological processes. The dynamics at larger scales are 'slaved' to the emergent behaviour of smaller scales through a coupling function that depends on a multiscale wavelet decomposition. The approach is first explicated mathematically. Numerical examples are then given to illustrate phenomena such as between-scale bifurcations and how synchronization in small-scale structures influences the dynamics in larger structures in an intuitive manner that cannot be captured by existing modelling approaches.


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