Mathematical Biology Seminar

Andre Longtin, University of Ottawa
Wednesday March 3, 2010
3:05pm in LCB 215
Title: Neural Coding in Electric Fish

Abstract: Weakly electric fish are fascinating animals that have evolved an electric sense that blends aspects of our senses of touch, vision and audition. Much is known about the relatively simple (compared to higher mammals) circuitry of their brains, the kinds of stimuli they respond to and their social communications/interactions. They are particularly well-suited to study principles of neural encoding and decoding because of the availability of electrophysiological recordings at many successive processing stations, enabling mathematical modeling of information transfer between stations. This talk will review past and current research on this topic from the experimental-theoretical collaboration of Len Maler, John Lewis and Andre Longtin at the University of Ottawa. We will focus especially on the role of feedback and how it interacts with stochastic spatio-temporal stimuli to induce oscillatory neural activity.