[Comp-neuro] New Thesis -- Self-Organising Barrel Cortex

James A. Bednar jbednar at inf.ed.ac.uk
Wed Oct 31 14:16:07 CET 2007


Message from Stuart Wilson:

Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to announce the availability of my MSc thesis,
completed in August in the School of Informatics at the University of
Edinburgh, UK, under the supervision of Dr. James A. Bednar:

              Self-Organisation Can Explain the Mapping of
            Angular Whisker Deflections in the Barrel Cortex

   A topographic mapping of angular whisker deflections has recently
   been discovered in the barrel cortex of rats (Andermann & Moore,
   2006).  Characteristics of this map suggest that it could emerge
   in post-natal development, through self-organisation under a Hebbian
   learning regime. This hypothesis was tested in a self-organising
   computational model, from which remarkably similar mappings emerge
   when whisker deflections are correlated during training. The model
   is also used to predict the disorganised mappings that might
   emerge from the real system when whiskers are uncorrelated, random or
   anti-correlated with one-another during development. 

   URL:
     http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/jbednar/papers/IM070505.pdf 

   Software: (freely available; includes the complete model)
     http://www.topographica.org

   Keywords:
     barrel cortex, whisker, topographic map, self-organisation,
     self-organization, modeling, nature-nurture, development

   Stuart Wilson
   Prospective PhD student,
   ABRG, the University of Sheffield & ANC, the University of Edinburgh

I will be attending `Barrels XX' (satellite to SfN in San Diego)
this weekend to present a poster of this work, and look forward to
the opportunity to discuss the ideas of the project with fellow
attendees who may be interested. Please contact me if you have any
questions or ideas relating to this topic.

Stuart


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