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5:15 pm, Thursday, April 18, 2013
Science 106

Science Speakers

Special Science Speaker Presentation Candidates for the Mathematics Faculty Position

Thursday, April 18, 5:15 - 6:15 PM in Science Hall 106

Does a Neuron Need Math? Abstract: Neurons process and propagate signals through electrical (action potential or spike) and chemical mechanisms (synapses). A mathematical model (HH-model) that describes how action potentials are produced within neurons was derived by Hodgkin and Huxley through experiments on squid. The HH model is based on a system of nonlinear ordinary differential equations, so we may think of a neuron as a nonlinear dynamical system. In this talk, we present the HH-model and simplifications of the HH model including the Fitzhugh-Nagumo model and the integrate-and-fire model. As an example of a synaptically coupled neuronal network and its activity patterns, we also consider how irregular activity patterns can be generated in an excitatory-inhibitory network using simple maps, work which is motivated by experimental recordings from a brain area called the basal ganglia.

Choongseok Park, University of Pittsburgh

Contact: David Housman, phone 7061, email dhousman@goshen.edu