Special Complex Systems Seminar

Event Date: 

Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Broida 3302

Event Contact: 

Speaker:

Dr. Ted Brookings, Volen Center for Complex Systems, Brandeis University

Title: Coping with individuality in theoretical neuroscience

Abstract: Neurons are what give us our personality, but individual neurons have a personality of their own. Over the last two decades neuroscientists have discovered that individual neurons often differ greatly from each other even when they have the same functional role in a nervous system. Since the nervous system is tasked not only with functioning, but also with 
building itself and maintaining function in a changing environment, this raises the question of how neurons are able to tune their properties to meet the needs of the nervous system. It also raises the question as to what constitutes a good model of a neuron, and how one would use such a model to understand the brain.