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 Wed 22 November 2017 13:30
Le Gros Clark Lecture Theatre (map)
Prof Jeff Moehlis
University of California, Santa Barbara
Controlling Populations of Neurons
Abstract: Some brain disorders are hypothesized to have a dynamical origin; in
particular, it has been been hypothesized that some symptoms of
Parkinson's disease are due to pathologically synchronized neural
activity in the motor control region of the brain. This talk will
describe several different approaches for desynchronizing the activity
of a group of neurons, including maximizing the Lyapunov exponent
associated with their phase dynamics, optimal phase resetting, and
controlling the population to have clustered dynamics. It is hoped
that this work will ultimately lead to improved treatment of
Parkinson's disease via targeted electrical stimulation. The use of
related control methods for treating other medical disorders,
including cardiac arrhythmias, will also be briefly discussed.

About the speaker: Jeff Moehlis received a Ph.D. in Physics from UC Berkeley in 2000, and was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University from 2000-2003. He joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2003. He has been a recipient of a Sloan Research Fellowship in Mathematics and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and was Program Director of the SIAM Activity Group in Dynamical Systems from 2008-2009. He received a Northrop Grumman Excellence in Teaching Award from UCSB in 2008. Jeff's current research includes the application of dynamical systems and control techniques to neuroscience, cardiac dynamics, and collective behavior.