Learning from models of the developing cortex

The period of rapid cortical expansion during fetal and early neonatal life is a crucial time over which the brain’s surface transforms from a smooth sheet to a highly convoluted surface. During this time, the cellular foundations of our advanced cognitive abilities are mapped out, as connections start to form between distant regions, myelinating, and… Continue reading Learning from models of the developing cortex

The symbiotic relationship between neuroscience and machine learning

Neuroscience research is a vital source of inspiration for the design of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems. Whilst, ultimately there is no reason that biological networks represent the only successful blueprint of a cognitive system, at this time they are the best available model.   Accordingly, detailed understanding of the primate visual system has framed design for… Continue reading The symbiotic relationship between neuroscience and machine learning

Are variations in Functional Connectivity strength driven by variations in spatial topography?

  I have argued in the past that fMRI studies are limited by ‘oversimplified assumptions made during pre-processing’  That, by modelling all human brains from the same broad topological structure (enforcing a constant number of functionally specialised regions, organised in a consistent pattern across all brains) we are not capturing true inter-subject variability in cortical organisation.… Continue reading Are variations in Functional Connectivity strength driven by variations in spatial topography?

The Cortical Explorer – A Web-based user-interface for the exploration of the human cerebral cortex

Due to the immense complexity of the brain’s neural network, research into the brain is performed at a hierarchy of scales. One common holistic approach is to model the brain, at a coarse scale, as consisting of a relatively small number of functionally specialised regions, connected in a network, known as the connectome. Recent advances… Continue reading The Cortical Explorer – A Web-based user-interface for the exploration of the human cerebral cortex

Forget weak statistics, fMRI studies suffer from oversimplified assumptions made during pre-processing

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) has been under intense scrutiny this summer following concerns over the replicability, and  claims that up to  40, 000 studies may be invalidated by poor statistics . Unfortunately, despite being a powerful resource for non-invasive exploration of brain function, fMRI signals are an indirect measure of brain activity, that suffer from many… Continue reading Forget weak statistics, fMRI studies suffer from oversimplified assumptions made during pre-processing