Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Neuronal circuits on display

We do not fully understand the neuronal underpinnings of decision-making, working memory and visual perception. The complexity of these systems and the advent of new state-of-the-art neuronal recording techniques require new analytical approaches to understand mechanisms behind these psychological processes and ultimately uncover how the brain works.
Neuronal circuits on display
Recently, some of the neuronal correlates of high level cognitive functions, such as decision making, working memory, visual perception and attention, have been uncovered. Neurophysiologists, powered with new recording techniques, are obtaining crucial information about the neuronal mechanisms that underlay the perception of the objects, confidence in our decisions or our perception of time. With these neuronal recording techniques, we are for the first time in a position to unravel some of the complex mechanisms that underlay basic psychological phenomena. However, the interpretation of the data is often difficult due to their richness and complexity, and a theoretical framework that would allow interpreting these neuronal data coherently is still lacking.

To describe and understand the complex, high dimensional neuronal data arising from state of the art recording techniques, we need to develop a new mathematical framework that is algorithmically efficient and at the same time incorporates our knowledge about neuronal electrophysiology. The CONEURON (Drawing neuronal circuits without seeing them) project combines computational neuroscience with the analysis of neuronal and behavioural data to (a) describe high dimensional neuronal data, (b) understand how neuronal networks can generate non-trivial behaviours, (c) predict neuronal interactions from the observed activity patterns, and (d) correlate activity patterns to psychological phenomena. Given the broad scope of the problems faced and the variety of methods required, this project is clearly multidisciplinary, involving techniques from physics, mathematics and neuroscience.

Understanding how the brain works involves working out the fine details of neuronal connections and signalling. CONEURON research results have contributed to this objective and have been published in several high-profile journals, including Nature Neuroscience and PLoS Comp Biol.

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Neuronal circuits, neuronal dynamics, functional connectivity, correlations, information
Record Number: 180951 / Last updated on: 2016-04-05
Domain: Biology, Medicine