In late September, our computational neuroscience program held its annual Computational Neuroscience Connection, a one-day meeting on the UW campus for groups involved in this area both at UW and beyond. Sponsored by the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, the meeting’s main goals are to provide a forum to meet other groups and present and learn about new research.
This year’s event had many highlights, including excellent talks from our students and postdocs representing a broad range of research from theoretical network modeling to neural control of flight to cochlear implant design. Clay Reid of the Allen Institute gave a brief overview of the Mindscape project and went into detail on his recent studies examining the detailed connectivity patterns of specific cell types in cortex. New faculty member Emily Fox discussed her advances in statistical modeling of EEG data. Cris Niell, of U. Oregon, described LGN responses in awake behaving rodents and noted a surprising response type, a neuron that is completely silenced by any contrast in its visual field. Perhaps most dramatically, Emo Todorov closed the day by showing astonishing examples where principles of optimal motor control combined with constraints on surface contacts can predict and model remarkably lifelike human motor behavior.