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Blue Brain Seminar – White noise background improves tone discrimination by suppressing cortical tuning curves

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Event details

Date and time 24.06.2019 15:0016:00  
Place and room
Speaker Tania Rinaldi Barkat
Category Conferences - Seminars

Blue Brain is delighted to announce that the fourth seminar in the series in Neural Computation, will be on “White noise background improves tone discrimination by suppressing cortical tuning curves”.

The seminar will be given by Tania Rinaldi Barkat who is an Assistant Professor in Neurophysiology, in the Department of Biomedicine at Basel University.

Abstract: The brain faces the difficult task of maintaining a stable representation of key features of the outside world in noisy sensory surroundings. How does the sensory representation change with noise, and how does the brain make sense of it? We investigated the effect of background white noise (WN) on tuning properties of neurons in mouse A1 and its impact on discrimination performance in a go/nogo task. We found that WN suppresses activity of A1 neurons, which surprisingly increases the discriminability of tones spectrally close to each other. To confirm the involvement of A1, we optogenetically excited parvalbumin positive (PV+) neurons in A1 which had similar effects as WN on both tuning properties and frequency discrimination. A population model suggests that suppression of A1 tuning curves increases frequency selectivity and thereby improves discrimination. Our findings demonstrate that the cortical representation of pure tones adapts during noise to improve sensory acuity.

The seminar is an open event, at the Blue Brain offices in the Campus Biotech, Geneva.  Upon arrival at the Campus Biotech, please sign in at the Campus Biotech reception.

Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Free

Organizer

  • Host: Srikanth Ramaswamy, Group Leader and Senior Scientist, Blue Brain Project

Contact

  • For more information, please contact info.bbp@epfl.ch

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Blue Brain Seminar

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