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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/E062962/1
Title: Spike Train Analysis Network
Principal Investigator: Baker, Professor SN
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Clinical Medical Sciences
Organisation: Newcastle University
Scheme: Network
Starts: 19 November 2007 Ends: 18 November 2010 Value (£): 84,680
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomedical neuroscience Non-linear Systems Mathematics
Statistics & Appl. Probability
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The brain has computational abilities far exceeding current computer technology, but uses a very different underlying hardware. In order to understand how the brain achieves its computational performance, we need to understand how information is coded, manipulated and stored by networks of brain cells (neurones). Experimentalists have now developed the ability to record the output activity of small populations of neurones (5-50 cells), which are known as spike trains. However, analysis methods to interpret this massive data stream have not kept up with our ability to record it.Spike train analysis is an especially challenging problem, as it requires multi-disciplinary collaboration between mathematicians, statisticians, computer scientists and neuroscientists. No single centre has a critical mass of the necessary disciplines. In this application, we seek to create a network bringing together experts from many centres in the UK and overseas. The network will create a virtual community, transcending both institutional as well as discipline boundaries. Network members will meet in small groups to address focussed problems in spike train analysis, initiating productive collaborations. The network website will provide a forum for debate and discussion, permitting easy sharing of ideas and analysis code. The network will host a monthly seminar series, in which experts in the field will present their work. These seminars will be broadcast via the internet to all network members. As well as acting as a useful arena for the discussion of ideas, these seminars will build the sense of belonging to a virtual academic community. A biannual newsletter, circulated widely in print and electronically, will promote network activities to the wider community. Finally, master classes will be run annually to disseminate advanced methods of spike train analysis to experimental neuroscientists.This award will build a vibrant research community, carrying out cutting-edge research in spike train analysis. The results of this research will be actively disseminated to experimental neuroscientists, such that use of high quality advanced analytical tools becomes the norm. The subsequent advances will lead to new understanding of how the brain processes and stores information. This has potential applications in producing novel computing architectures, and in addressing medical conditions where the brain malfunctions.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.ncl.ac.uk