Interdisciplinary Seminar in Nonlinear Science

Title: The excited cortex: phosphenes and other visual confections
Speaker: Bard Ermentrout
Speaker Info: University of Pittsburgh
Brief Description:
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We suggest that because the visual cortex sits in a nearly balanced state it is sensitive to a variety of external stimuli. We first discuss "LSD trails" which appear to arise due to a diminished amount of inhibition. We show that a spatially distributed neural network can produce sustained transient responses reminiscent of the responsed of disinhibited cortex. Next we discuss deep-pressure phosphenes which arise when subject press deeply on their eyeballs. We suggest that this phenomena arises due to asymmetric feedforward inputs to the excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Finally, we describe a model for flicker phosphenes - colorful spatial patterns that arise through parametric excitation of a cortical network.
Date: Friday, March 9, 2001
Time: 2:00PM
Where: Tech M416
Contact Person: Joanne Benge
Contact email: complex-systems@northwestern.edu
Contact Phone: 847-491-3904
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