Towards a realistic model of cortical dynamics at criticality
Idling brain: A computationally powerful regime
A significant portion of communication between neurons in the mammalian brain is mediated by bursts of electrical pulses that propagate from neuron to neuron via chemical synapses. These pulses are called action potentials or spikes. Just as knowledge of collective properties of feathers making up bird wings can illuminate the study of avian flight, elucidating collective dynamics of neuronal populations can advance our understanding of how large networks of neurons can give rise to behavior and cognition.
My research focuses on spontaneous dynamics of neuronal networks and its implications on the brain’s power to process information. The spontaneous network state is analogous to a daydreaming/idling brain where the network is free to explore the space that its dynamics allow. There is no external drive stimulating the network. Once given an initial kick, the network can subsequently maintain its own activity without further external support.