Logo: University of Southern California

Events Calendar

  • Biomedical Engineering Department Guest Speaker

    Mon, Mar 05, 2018 @ 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM

    Alfred E. Mann Department of Biomedical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Henrik Jorntell, PhD,

    Talk Title: Brain microcircuitry analysis in vivo for novel solutions in neuroengineering and biorobotics

    Abstract: The talk will summarize findings and theories originating from in vivo intracellular recordings of a wide set of neocortical and subcortical neurons made in my lab during the last decade. Our focus has been to clarify the internal organization and physiology of brain microcircuitry, which we believe are important to explain and reverse-engineer multiple aspects of brain function. Our analysis started out with the cerebellum, whose role in motor control depends critically on the functions of the spinocerebellar systems and thereby the spinal cord circuitry, where we also made recordings. By combining this information, we also developed a theory for the circuitry-level organization of somatic motor control. A separate, but related, analysis was on the representation of haptic information in the cuneate nucleus of the brainstem. In contrast to classical reductionist approaches, where skin sensor information is considered represented in a pixel-wise fashion, our analysis focused on more natural forms of mechanical interactions and suggested a very different scheme of integration of haptic information. Our current work is focused on neocortical neurons, where we again move away from classical reductionist thinking and instead consider their role in forming the network and the functions that are made possible with that change of viewing angle. Altogether, these insights have made us steer away from the predominating sparse coding / grandmother neuron inspired theories of brain function. Instead, we believe brain operation is based on kernel- based representations residing across large populations of neurons -“ the advantages are that it allows for richer representation and generalization of learning to novel contexts, which together provides for more versatile system behavior. From this research stems multiple principles applicable to novel approaches in neuroengineering and biorobotics.

    Host: Francisco Valero-Cuevas, PhD

    Location: Corwin D. Denney Research Center (DRB) - 145/145A

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Mischalgrace Diasanta


Return to Calendar