Our lab uses computer simulations of the brain to uncover the mechanisms responsible for normal brain function as well as neurological and psychiatric disease.
The details of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology are critical to understanding the brain: function follows forms through multiple scales from molecular up through local connections (microconnectomics), to large-scale brain connectomics. Properties emerge at each scale. Simulations are used to detect and understand these emergences. Specific conjectures include:
- Action potential synchrony across large neural ensembles is a critical code, though only one of several (rate code, wave-front code, etc.) -- the brain is full of signal (not full of noise).
- The design of large pyramidal cells and molecular processing in spines are key information processing levels in the context of the thalamocortical circuit.
- Cortical processing must be assessed in the context of tight interactions with matrix thalamus, basal ganglia and other encephalic structures.
Research and curriculum development at the Neurosimulation Laboratory has been supported by National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke, National Institute of Mental Health, National Insitute of Aging, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, Epilepsy Foundation of America, American Epilepsy Society, State University of New York, University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.