Heller Lecture Series in Computational Neuroscience
Prof. Matteo Carandini
University College London
On the topic of
"Soloists and Choristers in the Orchestra of the Brain"
These are exciting times for brain scientists: thanks to powerful new techniques, we have a chance of understanding how populations of neurons work in concert to produce behavior. These techniques combine next-generation electrical probes with virtual reality, powerful optics, and genetic engineering. In this broad lecture, I will illustrate how these techniques are allowing our laboratory to probe how the brain of mice sees, decides, and navigates. I will then focus on a classic question originally posed, as it happens, by scientists in Israel: if we picture a population of neurons as being an orchestra, are the individual neurons akin to choristers who join in the main tune, or to soloists who play their own tune? I will show how our laboratory answered this question thanks to a brilliant young scientist who, as it happens, is also from Israel, and thanks to the powerful new techniques available today to brain science.
Silberman Bldg., 3rd wing, 6th floor