Neurophysics and Physiology of the Motor System
René Descartes University

Carl van Vreeswijk


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Research Interests:

My research focuses on the dynamics of large populations of neurons and on how these dynamical aspects influence computation in the brain. This research can be divided into three general areas:

I. Synchronization. The performance of circuits in the brain can change dramatically when the neurons in these circuits synchronize. Thus it is important to understand the mechanisms that lead to synchronization. In this work we investigate under what conditions populations of interacting neurons, evolve to a state in which there is an appreceable amount of synchrony.

II. Irregular Activity. Isolated neurons react very regularly when they are stimulated, whereas the activity of neurons in an intact brain show a large amount of variability. It is currently not well undestood how this comes about. The significance of this irregularity in neural computation is also unclear. We have developed a theory for the mechanism for this irregularity, and are investigating its functional implications.

III. Computational Circuits. The goal of this work is to study how a more sophisticated dynamical description of neuronal activity changes our understanding of the computations that cortical circuits are thought to perform. We have inverstigated how irregularity affects attractor network and visual column hyper-columns, and are studying a model of the different visual maps in the periform cortex.

Contact Information:


Neurophysics and Physiology
Paris Descartes University
45 rue des Saints Pères
75270 Paris Cedex 06


Office   +33 (0) 1 42 86 21 46
Fax     +33 (0) 1 49 27 90 62



Information here was last updated March, 2003.