The computational neurosciences research group in Amrita continues its path-breaking work in modelling the human brain.Recently the group had the opportunity to present its work in Europe when Dr. Shyam Diwakar, Assistant Professor, School of Biotechnology, travelled to Italy in September and Germany in October of this year.
The study titled Modeling evoked local field potentials in the cerebellum granular layer and plasticity changes reveal single neuron effects in neural ensembles was published in Acta Physiologica, the official journal of the Federation of European Physiological Societies.
During September 25-27, he presented his study on local field potentials at the meeting of the Italian Society of Physiology in Sorrento near Naples.
“Our study aims to find out how granule neurons in the brain compute a population code, that is how is data read from a group of neurons,” elaborated Dr. Shyam. “Knowing such signals will reveal how and what is happening in brain circuits.”This study is undertaken in collaboration with University of Milan’s Prof. Giovanni Naldi and University of Pavia’s Prof. Egidio D’Angelo.
Next, Dr. Shyam presented a paper titled Information processing in the cerebellum granular layer and changes in plasticity revealing single neuron effects in neural ensembles at the prestigious international conference Bernstein conducted by the University of Freiburg in Germany during October 4-6.
“Information transmission at the Mossy Fiber (MF) – Granule Cell (GrC) synaptic connection is crucial to understand mechanisms of signal coding in the cerebellum,” he stated.
“I discussed the estimate of information flow in terms of spikes in the cerebellum granular layer. Computational models developed in the lab were presented and overall attributes for how single neurons influence population signals were illustrated.”
This work aims to reconstruct the activity of brain circuits to reveal more information on how brain processes information. All possible input patterns are studied using a detailed mathematical model of a neuron to understand information processing by brain cells and neural circuits.
“Upon the completion of this work, we hope to be able to explain existing hypotheses about how signals are processed in the brain like coincidence detection, sparse recoding and time-windowing in the granular layer,” explained Dr. Shyam.
After the presentations in Europe, the group made a splash in Delhi, India at the annual conference of the Indian Academy of Neurosciences.
Dr. Shyam was invited to present his work on Constrained Objects for Neuronal Modeling and Simulation, undertaken in collaboration with the State University of New York, Buffalo.
In addition, five doctoral scholars presented their research.Manjusha Nair elaborated on her work with Information Coding in Single Granule Neuron of the Cerebellum while Krishna Chaitanya Medini spoke on modeling cerebellar granular layer microcircuitry that reveals role of single neurons in spatio-temporal encoding.
Nidheesh elaborated on the neuroinformatics database being developed for multi-level physiological mapping based on sematic clustering.
Adam Wayland highlighted electroresponsiveness of cerebellar granule neurons and regulation of spatio-temporal processing in the cerebellar granular layer.
November 20, 2011
School of Biotechnology, Amritapuri