Active Self-Organization in the Brain: Stable Function from Neurons to Networks

Dr. Keith Hengen (host Wessel), Department of Biology, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri
December 4, 2017 at 4:00 pm
241 Compton
Event Description 

Many animals exhibit stable sensation, perception, and cognition for decades. These functions rest upon synaptic proteins, ion channels, and intracellular pathways whose half-lives span only minutes to weeks. Further, neural networks are highly plastic (e.g. learning/encoding information). How then is it possible that plastic networks built by transient components give rise to dependable perception and behavior? Although studies in the past two decades have revealed cellular mechanisms that are, in principal, capable of stabilizing neuronal activity, the conclusion that this gives rise to reliable network function remains theoretical. Our recent work has made significant inroads into the question of dynamic stabilization in the brain, from
the level of neurons to networks.

 

Coffee:  3:45 pm, 241 Compton