The brain's social network

Nerve cells interact like friends on Facebook

4th February, 2015

Neurons in the brain are wired like a social network, report researchers from Biozentrum, University of Basel. Each nerve cell has links with many others, but the strongest bonds form between the few cells most similar to each other.

Pattern motion responses in mouse visual cortex

Model-based analysis of cortical responses

8th August, 2015

Example imaging region in mouse V1

Example imaging region in mouse V1

Green: OGB labelling of neurons. Red: Sulforhodamine labelling of astrocytes. Scale: 50um.

In visual cortex, information about features such as edges or textures with particular orientations must be integrated to recognize a visual scene or object. In principle, the architecture of rodent cortex would enable local circuits to integrate sensory information — however, whether feature integration occurs in rodent primary sensory areas has not been examined directly. Our results show that a broad range of pattern integration already takes place at the level of V1.

How connectivity rules affect cortical behaviour

Analytical examination of eigenvalue spectra

24th April, 2015
An example eigenvalue spectrum for a sparse network.

How does the behaviour and stability of a neuronal network depend on the connectivity rules used to build it? A common approach is to build many stochastic instances of a network, tweak the parameters, simulate and analyse, and then try to derive an impression about stability. We instead used an analytical approach, to directly relate connectivity rules and parameters to bounds on stability.