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Stable and flexible neural function from sloppy underlying components - Timothy O'Leary

January 21, 2015 - 10:00am
Clark, S360
Stable and flexible neural function from sloppy underlying components Timothy O'Leary, PhD Volen Center for Complex Systems Brandeis University

(SNI Junior Faculty Candidate)

This talk will be RECORDED and available for viewing online approximately one day following the event.

Abstract:  A fundamental question in neuroscience is how neurons and nervous systems develop, control, and maintain their electrical signaling properties in spite of ongoing protein turnover and activity perturbations. In this talk I will summarize efforts to address this question both experimentally and using theory and computational modeling. I will show how a simple yet robust and flexible model of regulation can be derived from generic assumptions about the molecular biology underlying channel expression, and how this model ties recent experimental data with long-standing questions about the inherent variability of neuronal properties. I will also demonstrate that ‘homeostatic’ regulation critically depends on the complement of ion channels expressed in cells: in some cases loss of specific ion channels can be completely compensated, in others the homeostatic mechanisms itself can cause pathological loss of function. Finally, I will offer ideas of how neurons and nervous systems can reliably cope with and respond to global perturbations such as temperature fluctuations and neuromodulation.

Event Sponsor: 
Stanford Neurosciences Institute
Contact Email: 
Lisa Gounod