Recent experimental results have provided valuable insights in the organization of computations in biological neuronal networks. In particular, evidence for two main features of cortical computation is rapidly accumulating. First, neurons operate in concert with other neurons in so-called cell assemblies. Second, the activity of single neurons, synapses, and assemblies in the brain is highly stochastic. These findings force us to rethink how computations are organized in cortical neuronal networks. However, an integrated view on stochasticity and assembly organization in spiking neural networks is still missing. In this project, we will investigate stochastic assembly organization both in organic and artificial spiking neural networks. One emphasis will be the characterization of stochastic assembly activation in highly controllable setups and assembly emergence through plasticity processes. Experiments will be accompanied by theoretical modeling, analysis, and computer simulations that will help to understand the basic mechanisms that give rise to assembly formation. In particular, the investigations in this project will focus on (a) the characterization of stochastic assemblies their emergence through plasticity processes in cultured neural networks and acute brain slices, (b) the control of stochastic assemblies in cultured neural networks and its application to neuroprosthetics, and (c) computations in artificial spiking neural networks based on emergent stochastic assemblies with applications to novel computing and learning devices.
|Effective start/end date||1/03/17 → 28/02/21|
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