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Duke Physics Colloquium: Storing and retrieving memories in models of neuronal networks

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019
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3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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Nicolas Brunel (Duke Neurobiology and Duke Physics)
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Duke Physics Colloquium

"Storing and retrieving memories in models of neuronal networks" - Memories are thought to be stored in brain networks thanks to modifications of synaptic connectivity between neurons. Mathematical models of synaptic plasticity (sometimes called `synaptic plasticity rules' or `learning rules') capture experimental data on plasticity with increasing accuracy, but it is still unclear how realistic synaptic plasticity rules shape network dynamics and information storage. In this talk, I will first review approaches for inferring learning rules from neurophysiological data. I will describe in particular a new approach in inferring the
learning rules from in vivo electrophysiological data, using experiments that compare the statistics of responses of neurons to sets of novel and familiar stimuli. I will then focus on how the inferred learning rules shape the dynamics of networks, leading to a diversity of potential dynamics that allow the network to retrieve the stored information (fixed point attractors, chaotic attractors, or transient sequential activity). Finally, I will show that learning rules inferred from data are close to maximizing information storage. Faculty host: Anselm Vossen. Refreshments will be available before the event in room 130.

Contact: Cristin Paul