[Comp-neuro] MiCRAM Website Moved

Harry Erwin harry.erwin at sunderland.ac.uk
Thu Jul 2 10:09:16 CEST 2009

The MiCRAM website has been rehosted at
This site documents the auditory research that Adrian Rees and Harry
Erwin are performing collaboratively using EPSRC funding (starting 1
July 2006) as a interdisciplinary project between the University of
Newcastle upon Tyne School of Neurology, Neurobiology and Psychiatry and
the University of Sunderland School of Computing. The overall goal is to
study sound processing in the mammalian brain and to build a
computational model which can be tested on a biomimetic robot artefact
to refine the neuroscience models. The robotic work is being led by
Professor Stefan Wermter at the University of Sunderland.

This research involves the collaborative development of a biologically
plausible model of auditory processing at the level of the inferior
colliculus. This approach potentially clarifies the roles of the
multiple spectral and temporal representations that are present at the
level of the inferior colliculus and investigate how representations of
sounds interact with auditory processing at that level to focus
attention and select sound sources for deeper analysis.

A key feature of our approach is to maximise the use of existing data
from our own and other laboratories. The inferior colliculus has been
extensively studied in many species including several non-specialised
mammals and echolocating bats. Much of this vast body of data exists in
isolation and has not been formally synthesised. This is a severe
hindrance, both to our understanding of the colliculus, and our ability
to incorporate it into neural models. The goal of building a model with
specific outcomes and measurable performance will provide a formal
framework to underpin the data synthesis we propose. Our approach of
mining existing data will also contribute to Government's objective in
the 3Rs (Replacement, Refinement and Reduction) of reducing the number
of animals used in experiments. Dr. Reesís knowledge of the inferior
colliculus and extensive connections with other researchers in the field
will be key to this approach. Where specific information required for
the model is not available we will have the capability to address these
questions experimentally. The model will in turn have predictive power
that will also guide future experiments in the quest for emergent

Harry Erwin, PhD, Senior Lecturer of Computing, University of  
Sunderland. Computational neuroethologist:

More information about the Comp-neuro mailing list