Seminar Event Detail

Applied Interdisciplinary Mathematics (AIM)

Date:  Friday, April 06, 2018
Location:  1084 East Hall (3:00 PM to 4:00 PM)

Title:  Rhythms in neuronal networks with recurrent excitation

Abstract:   Interacting excitatory and inhibitory neuronal populations often generate oscillations in electrical fields in the brain. I will briefly review this mechanism and the reasons to believe that it is important in brain function. Most of the talk will be focused on the effects of recurrent excitation, i.e., of the neurons of a local network in the brain exciting each other. Recurrent excitation can sustain activity in a network that would otherwise be quiescent; this is believed to be the basis of working memory. It can also lead to a runaway process, with excitation generating more excitation etc., much as the presence of a quadratic term on the right-hand side of a differential equation can lead to blow-up in finite time; this may be related to epileptic seizures. For model problems, we prove that abrupt transitions to runaway activity require recurrent excitation with fast kinetics, while working memory activity is more robust with recurrent excitation with slow kinetics.


Speaker:  Christoph Borgers
Institution:  Tufts University

Event Organizer:   Robert Krasny


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