Wiring the Brain: Computational Mechanisms for the Development of Neural Connections

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Speaker: Professor Geoffrey Goodhill
Date: 19th March 2010

During your early life something like 10^15 connections between neurons grew in your brain, and most of these connections ended up in the right place. How is such astonishing self-organized complexity possible? In this talk I will describe some of the basic guidance mechanisms that steer nerve fibres to their targets. I will also discuss recent theoretical and experimental results suggesting that (1) nerve fibres may make guidance decisions in a statistically optimal, and (2) the behaviour of nerve fibres may depend strongly on the strength of the guidance signals.

News link:
http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/scientists-study-wiring-defects-in-brain20100302-pfl6.html

During your early life something like 10^15 connections between
neurons grew in your brain, and most of these connections ended up in
the right place. How is such astonishing self-organized complexity
possible? In this talk I will describe some of the basic guidance
mechanisms that steer nerve fibres to their targets. I will also discuss
recent theoretical and experimental results suggesting that (1) nerve
fibres may make guidance decisions in a statistically optimal, and (2)
the behaviour of nerve fibres may depend strongly on the strength of
the guidance signals.
News link: