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Home | Seminars and Symposia | Past seminars/symposia: Wednesday, February 23, 2005

DTC Seminar Series

Reconstructing Subpopulation Connectivity Within Neuronal Networks


Duane Nykamp
University of Minnesota

Wednesday, February 23, 2005
11:00 am

402 Walter Library


TO UNDERSTAND THE FUNCTION OF NEURONAL NETWORKS WITHIN THE BRAIN, one would, at minimum, like to characterize the connectivity patterns that underlie these networks. Since one can simultaneously measure only a tiny fraction of neurons, the presence of vast numbers of unmeasured neurons can confound attempts to determine the subnetwork connecting the measured neurons. A suitable mathematical framework can provide the structure to account for the presence of unmeasured neurons. Using a simple probabilistic model of a neuronal network, we demonstrate how to analyze connections among a subset of measured neurons embedded in the larger network. One obtains connectivity patterns in terms of certain neural subpopulations, which are groups of neurons with a similar response to a stimulus. This subpopulation connectivity can capture how network connections depend on the response properties of neurons.


Although the results are presented in terms of neuronal networks, the mathematical framework is applicable to other networks, such as gene regulatory networks.


Duane Nykamp is an assistant professor of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota. He received his Ph.D. from New York University in 2000. His research interests center on biological neural networks and the role of neurons' collective behavior in encoding and processing information.