Speaker: Dr. Diego Contreras of the University of Pennsylvania
When: Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Time: 10:00 AM
Where: S-5 Osmond Building
Host: Dr. Steven J. Schiff of the Center for Neural Engineering

Dr. Contreras is one of the world's leaders on the encoding of
information in the thalamus and visual system, somatosensory cortex,
as well as the physiology of epileptic seizures. He is a systems
physiologist who performs cutting edge optical imaging, computational
neuroscience, and difficult in vivo electrophysiology of single cells.

Please join Dr. Contreras for lunch afterwards if interested.

[Note: This seminar will be available as an open broadcast to the
Penn State Community at:
You will need a sound card and speakers to view this properly.
We will have this broadcast in room H4151 at Hershey as well.]


Local network activity modulated by sensory input is visible intracellularly as fluctuations of the membrane potential (Vm) or synaptic noise. Synaptic noise has a different impact on neurons with different byophisical properties leading to differences in their selectivity to sensory input. In additon, synaptic noise influences the input-output relationship of neurons (neuronal gain). However, the synaptic composition of the noise, which is determined by the statistics of the visual stimulus, is critical in determining its effect on neuronal gain.

Future Neural Engineering Seminar Speakers:

Tarik Haydar, Children's National Med Ctr/George Washington Univ, DEC 13