ELSC Seminar: January 1st, 2019

ELSC cordially invites you to the lecture given by: 


Dr. Oren Shriki

Ben-Gurion University


On the topic of: 

Critical Brain Dynamics: Theoretical and Experimental Perspectives


The lecture will be held on Tuesday, January 01, at 13:00

at ELSC: Becker Auditorium, Goodman Brain Sciences Bldg., 

 Edmond J. Safra Campus 


Light refreshments at 12:45 



What is critical dynamics? Does the brain exhibit signatures of critical dynamics? Can measures of criticality be used as biomarkers for neurological disorders?

 The talk will discuss the hypothesis of critical brain dynamics and relevant research from recent years. It will introduce the concept of neuronal avalanches, scale-free spatio-temporal cascades of activity whose sizes obey a power-law distribution. They are observed in a wide range of experiments from cortical cultures to large-scale human brain activity and are considered as evidence for critical brain dynamics. Nevertheless, there are alternative mechanisms to obtain power-law behavior, and thus, evidence for criticality should take into account additional analyses beyond power law distributions. The avalanche analysis is sensitive to changes in the balance of excitatory and inhibitory processes. Consequently, deviations from critical dynamics could be used to identify disorders associated with altered balance. In sleep deprivation and epilepsy the system tends towards super-critical dynamics whereas in disorders of consciousness the system displays sub-critical dynamics. Anesthesia could push the system towards either sub- or super- critical dynamics.