Network Diseases: Linking Developmental Changes in Brain Connectivity with Neural Dynamics
- Speaker: Dr Marcus Kaiser (Newcastle University)
- Host: Steve Furber
- 14th October 2009 at 14:15 in Lecture Theatre 1.4, Kilburn Building
Brain connectivity, also called the connectome, has been a recent field of research identifying organizing principles of biological neural networks. The analysis of network structure and dynamics is part of the larger field of network science. This research has shown that neural systems exhibit a modular organisation at several hierarchical levels: from individual columns to clusters of cortical regions such as the visual cortex (Hilgetag & Kaiser, Neuroinformatics, 2004). In addition, neural systems show a distinct spatial organisation (Kaiser & Hilgetag, PLoS Comp Biol, 2006) with both reduced wiring as well as fast processing through a low number of intermediate steps. I will present a new model for the spatial development of neural networks (Kaiser et al. Cerebral Cortex, in press) and discuss how developmental factors can change the network organisation. Finally, I will look at how this structure is linked to neural dynamics such as oscillations or the activity spreading. A particular application of this research is understanding the developmental and topological factors that lead to seizure spreading in epilepsy patients.