Neural Circuit Redundancy, Stability, and Variability in Developmental Brain Disorders

By | Cian O’Donnell (Computational and Theoretical Neuroscience, Computer Science,  Bristol)
Date |
Thursday 27 February 2020
Time |
Senior Common Room, Level 2 (2D17), Priory Road Complex

Despite the consistency of symptoms at the cognitive level, we now know that brain disorders like Autism and Schizophrenia can each arise from mutations in >100 different genes. Presumably there is a convergence of “symptoms” at the level of neural circuits in diagnosed individuals. In this talk I will argue that redundancy in neural circuit parameters implies that we should take a circuit-function rather that circuit-component approach to understanding these disorders. Then I will present our recent empirical work testing a circuit-function theory for Autism: the idea that neural circuits show excess trial-to-trial variability in response to sensory stimuli, and instability in the representations across a timescale of days. For this we analysed in vivo neural population activity data recorded from somatosensory cortex of mouse models of Fragile-X syndrome, a disorder related to autism. Work with Beatriz Mizusaki (Univ of Bristol), Nazim Kourdougli, Anand Suresh, and Carlos Portera-Cailliau (Univ of California, Los Angeles).

All Welcome | Tea, coffee and cakes will be served after the seminar.