Lateral competition in cortex

Can local inhibition lead to long-range competition?

20th February, 2014

Figure 1: Presence of competition in a local-inhibition network

Figure 1: Presence of competition in a local-inhibition network

In this simulated cortical network, competition between a driven column (arrowhead) and other columns is only strongly present where the inhibitory connections between the two points is stronger than the excitatory connections.

Competition is a well-studied and powerful mechanism for information processing in neuronal networks. However, many models for columnar cortex (cats and monkeys, for example) rely on long-range inhibitory interactions, which seem not to be present in the cortex. We explored whether competition can occur over long distances, with realistic cortical anatomy.

Kernel density estimation for circular functions

28th March, 2014
A circular distribution (blue line) estimated using a kernel density method.

Matlab code for performing kernel density estimates on periodic and aperiodic domains, for unidimensional and multidimensional data.

The myth of the Scientist-Priest

Letter to the Editor

5th March, 2013

Eliane Glaser trots out the old "science is a gated community" argument, with scientists as priests or gatekeepers with "privileged access" to the minutiae of the natural world ("Prof Brian Cox: physicist or priest?"). This feels particularly mean-spirited considering the target of her epithets is none other than Brian Cox, who spends a considerable portion of his days striving to make science accessible to non-scientists...