Graduate Student / Postdoc Seminar

Dynamics of the Brain: Mathematics Meets Neuroscience

Speaker: Lai-Sang Young

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1302

Date: Friday, May 6, 2016, 1 p.m.


Dynamical systems is the study of time evolutions of processes, natural and engineered, and one of the most fascinating dynamical systems is the brain. This talk is about the visual cortex. From point-to-point representation of visual images, the visual cortex extracts edges, shapes, color, motion etc. — features that enable us to make sense of visual scenes. This complex task is accomplished through the interaction of very large numbers of neurons, which we model individually as relatively simple dynamical systems coupled together to form a large network. In this talk I would like to (1) give you a flavor of the dynamics describing the interaction between local excitatory and inhibitory populations, and (2) discuss a little piece of modeling work in which my collaborators and I tried to reconcile experimental evidence with some prevailing ideas in theoretical neuroscience, namely the feedforward picture of orientation selectivity in the monkey (or human) visual cortex.