MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2013 Activities by Sponsor - Brain and Cognitive Sciences

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BrainNavigator: Hands-On Introduction and Demo

Courtney Crummett, BCS Librarian

Jan/17 Thu 10:00AM-11:30AM 14N-132 (DIRC)

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required

BrainNavigator integrates accurate content and innovative tools to improve the productivity, efficiency and quality of research. It helps locate specific areas of the brain, making visualizing and experimental planning in the brain easier. Class attendees will learn how to access high resolution images, identify coordinates and calibrate those coordinates to their own animals, link their own images to BrainNavigator atlases, count cells using the cell marker tool, overlay schematic drawing onto atlas stained sections or their own images, and use the injection planner. Please Register:

Sponsor(s): Biology, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Libraries
Contact: Courtney Crummett, 14S-134, 617 324-8290, CRUMMETT@MIT.EDU

Gap-free Neural Circuits: From Sensory Input to Motor Output

Tatsuo Okubo, Nikhil Bhatla

Enrollment: Unlimited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/04
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions
Prereq: None

Why do people act the way that they do?  How sensory input alters the behavioral output of living organisms is a fascinating question in neuroscience.  While this is difficult to study in a gap-free manner at the cellular level in mammals, gap-free neural circuits have been identified and their signal transformation properties characterized in simpler organisms.  On each day of this class we will discuss a single neural circuit that has been worked out at the cellular level, including how each neuron in the circuit transforms the incoming physiological signal using specific molecules.  Circuits will be derived from primary experimental data.  We will focus on circuits for which the neurons that sense the stimuli are known, the interneurons are known, and the motor neurons controlling muscle contraction and the resulting behavior are known.  Circuits will be drawn from several invertebrate organisms, including the genetic organisms C. elegans and Drosophila, as well as the locust, crayfish and cricket.  After this class students will have a precise understanding of several different neural circuits as well as the methods used to identify and analyze these circuits.  By providing several examples of real neural circuits, principles for how circuits function in general may become apparent.  Students, post-docs and professors welcome.

The class will consist of 10 sessions from Monday, January 7, 2013 to Friday, January 18, from 4-5:30p in 46-3015.

Course website and sign-up form.

Sponsor(s): Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Contact: Tatsuo Okubo, 46-5145,

Gap-free Neural Circuits

Jan/07 Mon 04:00PM-05:30PM 46-3015
Jan/08 Tue 04:00PM-05:30PM 46-3015
Jan/09 Wed 04:00PM-05:30PM 46-3015
Jan/10 Thu 04:00PM-05:30PM 46-3015
Jan/11 Fri 04:00PM-05:30PM 46-3015
Jan/14 Mon 04:00PM-05:30PM 46-3015
Jan/15 Tue 04:00PM-05:30PM 46-3015
Jan/16 Wed 04:00PM-05:30PM 46-3015
Jan/17 Thu 04:00PM-05:30PM 46-3015
Jan/18 Fri 04:00PM-05:30PM 46-3015

Tatsuo Okubo, Nikhil Bhatla

Methods for analyzing neural data

Ethan Meyers, Postdoctoral Associate, BCS, MIBR, Wasim Malik, Instructor in Anesthesia Harvard Medical School, MGH

Jan/28 Mon 03:00PM-04:30PM 46-5056
Jan/30 Wed 03:00PM-04:30PM 46-5056
Feb/01 Fri 03:00PM-04:30PM 46-5056

Enrollment: Unlimited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/23
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions

You have just run an exciting neuroscience experience and sitting in front of you is a pile of data. The only thing stopping you from publishing your results in Nature concerns turning that pile of data into clear insights about how the brain works. Well rest assured, after taking this course you well on your way having that exciting new publication on your CV.

In this course we will cover several useful methods for analyzing neural data including conventional statistics, mutual information, point process models and decoding analyses. The emphasis will be on discussing how to apply methods that work best, and explaining the basic mathematical intuitions behind these methods. The examples used will focus on neural spiking activity but we will also discuss other types of signals including MEG signals, and local field potentials. Some familiarity with neuroscience and basic statistics will be useful, but we will try to keep the background knowledge to a minimum.



Sponsor(s): Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Contact: Ethan Meyers, 46-5155, 617 447-7814, EMEYERS@MIT.EDU