ECE Colloquium - December 4, 2013
Dr. Bijan Pesaran, New York University
CoRE Lecture Hall
The study of the brain is enjoying an era of growth with dramatic advances in our knowledge of the link between brain and behavior. Research is leading to a better scientific understanding of how the brain controls behavior and is opening up translational opportunities to engineer devices that replace lost brain function. Our understanding of brain mechanisms is largely based on the spiking activity of individual neurons. In this talk, I will argue that an exclusive focus on spiking activity hampers both basic neuroscience and neural engineering. I will develop a complementary approach involving local field potentials (LFPs), electrical potentials generated by populations of neurons. I propose that LFPs show promise in two specific areas. Local field potentials can improve our scientific understanding of how different brain areas communicate with each other during behavior and can accelerate the development of robust high-performance neural interfaces that replace lost brain function.
Bijan Pesaran completed his undergraduate training in Physics at the University of Cambridge, UK. He went on to earn his PhD in Physics at the California Institute of Technology in 2002. He then completed postdoctoral research in Biology until 2005. He has been on the faculty at New York University since 2006 where he is currently Associate Professor of Neural Science in the Center for Neural Science. Among his other honors he has received a Sloan Research Fellowship, a McKnight Scholar Award and an NSF CAREER Award.