The CRM is currently building a research group in Computational Neuroscience, with the broad goal of applying numerical and analytical modelling techniques as well as data analysis to the study of brain function. One of the main areas of interest will be to explore how the dynamics of large numbers of neurons are shaped by the patterns of synaptic connectivity in cortical micro-circuits. This modelling work will be constrained by and compared to the increasing amount of experimental data available on cortical connectivity.
Another important research focus of this group involves developing models of memory and memory consolidation. Long-term memory is thought to reside in the patterns of synaptic connectivitiy in neuronal circuits. Furthemore, it is known that certain kinds of memories are initially strongly dependent on a brain structure called the hippocampus, but eventually become independent of this structure over time. Therefore, memory storage in the brain is dynamical process that involves the interaction of several brain areas. We aim to shed light on this process using network models in which memories are explicitly modelled as patterns of synaptic weights.