Science at the Edge Seminar

Speaker: Mark Reimers, Neuroscience Program, Michigan State University

Title: The BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies®) Initiative: Big Data Comes to Neuroscience

Refreshments at 11:15 am.

Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2017, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm  

Type: Seminar

Location: 1400 BPS Bldg.

High-throughput data is revolutionizing neuroscience, as microarrays revolutionized genomics ~ fifteen years ago. The BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies®) Initiative in the US and similar efforts around the world will soon allow us to eavesdrop on the conversations among thousands or millions of neurons. This talk will introduce some of the technologies that are changing the face of neuroscience, illustrate some of the insights that have been gained recently, and expand on the promise to come, drawing on recently published work as well as the speaker's own research.

I will first describe the ongoing census of the surprising diversity of brain cells, and then the new technologies to measure brain activity. After decades of steady slow improvement in electrical and magnetic measurement, the capacity and resolution of optical imaging are more than doubling each year. Other optical technologies enable precise interventions in circuits.

I will then describe a few recent findings using these technologies: how memories are formed and recalled; how skills can be selectively erased; what imagination may look like; how apparently false memories can be implanted in animals.