University of Texas
Health Science Center at Houston, Texas
“Network Analysis of Neural Interactions”
Wednesday, February 28, 2007 @ 11AM
Engineering Bldg., Rm. 231
Abstract: The huge numbers of neurons in the brain are connected to form functionally specialized assemblies. The brain’s amazing processing capabilities rest on the coordinated interaction between these assemblies. Understanding the nature of communication among different groups of neurons and the physical basis for controlling information flow would be an important step to optimize the diagnosis and treatment of various neurological conditions. Our laboratory is particularly interested in understanding the general computational principles underlying the dynamic interactions among large numbers of widely distributed neuronal assemblies that mediate visual perception. To pursue this goal, we have been developing a comprehensive approach to the statistical quantification of multi-neuron activity on a fast time scale. Heretofore, this approach has been fruitfully used to characterize, with high spatial, temporal, and frequency resolution, functional relations within large multi-channel neural recordings.
In this talk I will examine neural interactions from a network point of view and discuss proper methods of data analysis along with their implementations on distributed Linux clusters using MPI. Our emphasis will be placed on a class of measures that yield directional information in neural interactions. Data from monkeys performing visuomotor pattern discrimination tasks will be used to demonstrate the approach. Possible strategies for eventual clinical applications will be presented.