Neural pathologies. How does the reduction of inhibition or increase in synaptic excitation alter the normal dynamics of cortical processes such as working memory. Diseases such as schizophrenia and epilepsy have been shown to be connected to alterations in the expression of various synaptic receptors such as GABA (inhibition) and NMDA (slow excitation). Computational models of different cortical circuits when various parameters are altered can provide insights into the underlying dynamical mechanisms of these pathologies.
What determines when neural oscillators will synchronize? Individual properties of neurons determine how these neurons respond to stimuli; in particular, how the timing of output spikes depends on the timing of input spikes. In this project, we explore how the individual neuronal properties, the topology of connectivity, and the types of connections determine whether networks of neurons synchronize. We use perturbation methods to reduce systems of coupled neural oscillators to simplified phase models.
What determines the properties of spatiotemporal dynamics in cortical networks. It is known that much of the activity, both evoked and spontaneous, in cortex is organized into wavelike patterns. In this project, we use neural field models to study the properties of these waves in single and multilayer networks. We use a combination of computational and perturbation methods.