Undergraduate Research Project

Abstract: Multielectrode arrays inserted in samples of neural tissues have revealed that some patterns of neuronal activity can be power laws, both for the size and the duration of such so-called neuronal avalanches. These results have been frequently interpreted in the theoretical framework of self-organized criticality (SOC) and specifically of computation on the edge of chaos. On the other side, cognitive functions are usually investigated on much longer time scales, as in electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, in which slow oscillations are believed to characterize behavior (sleep, motor features) and pathologies of the nervous system. Until very recently, there was no notice of any connection between those regular oscillations and the phenomenology of neuronal avalanches, regardless the notion of criticality be really relevant to describe neural dynamics or not. However, recently, some researchers claimed the existence of an association of those two broad classes of phenomena, despite it lacks a satisfactory unraveling of the proper relations of cause and effect in that context. In this project, by exploting variations of the integrate-and-fire model, we propose a thorough investigation of the role of the balance between excitation and inhibition in a neural population in promoting the joint emergence of slow oscillations with critical neuronal avalanches.

 
Related to this project:

  • Presentations in conferences:
    • Carvalho, M. M.; Mosqueiro, T. S. ; Maia, L. P.. Statistical features of neuronal avalanches and local field potentials. 2014.
      Presented at SIFSC 4 (IFSC-USP). Selected for oral presentation.
      View: Talk
    • Carvalho, M. M.; Mosqueiro, T. S. ; Maia, L. P.. Statistical features of neuronal avalanches and local field potentials. 2013.
      Presented at SIFSC 3 (IFSC-USP). Selected for oral presentation.
      Honorable mention at Yvonne Primerano Mascarenhas Award for undergraduate projects (SIFSC 3/IFSC-USP).
      View: Poster | Talk