The Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Freiburg

Announcement for the next
BCCN Seminar

Dr. Björn Kampa

Brain Research Institute, University of Zurich

Cortical feed-forward networks for binding different streams of sensory information

Thursday, October 04th, 2007


Lecture Hall (ground floor)
BCCN building
Hansastraße 9A
79104 Freiburg

The cortex is an architectural masterpiece. It combines horizontal layers with vertical columns, anatomical organization with functionality. Layers contain different cell types that form different connections with each other, whereas columns are defined by the features of the information they process, like brightness of a spot in the receptive field. Over the last 50 years, the idea of the ‘functional column’ has provided a dominant influence on our understanding of cortical circuits. However, recent findings have put this arrangement of computational units into question. The finer scale structure of micro-columns and sub-networks become more and more the focus of investigation. Yet, the formation and structure of these cortical assemblies is still largely unknown. Here, I will show evidence that spike-timing dependent learning rules can be specific for bottom-up or top-down pathways. The different temporal requirements for sensory and context information might lead to the assembly of highly specific cortical circuits tuned for integration of different sensory features. Finally, the advance of a novel 3D network imaging technique allows now to record from visually identified neuronal networks in the intact brain during sensory stimulation. This technique has been used to study the interaction of cortical sub-networks in the supragranular layers of rat visual cortex.

The talk is open to the public. Guests are cordially invited!