NeuroMat's report of activities: research, technology transfer and dissemination

Stochastic models for biological neural networks. “Statiscian brain” conjecture. High-performance computing. Open-source, free softwares. New directions for early diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. Brachial-plexus-injury initiative. Wikipedia. The Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (RIDC NeuroMat) has released the report of activities for 2015-2017, to be assessed by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) international evaluation committee.

Event addresses the mathematical culture, diagnostics and perspectives

On May 16, the meeting "Numeracy in Brazil: diagnoses and perspectives", promoted by the Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (RIDC NeuroMat) took place at University of São Paulo (USP). This event was part of the Brazilian Mathematics Biennium and had the support of the São Paulo Research Foundation and the University of São Paulo School of Education.

According to the professor Dr. Fernando Paixão, NeuroMat's coordinator of scientific diffusion and one of the event's organizer, the objective was to discuss about the mathematical culture, especially in Basic Education. Carol Gama, Oxigênio, 06/13/2017. (In Portuguese)

Anticipated synchronization in neuronal circuits unveiled by a phase-response-curve analysis

Fernanda S. Matias, Pedro V. Carelli, Claudio R. Mirasso and Mauro Copelli

Anticipated synchronization (AS) is a counterintuitive behavior that has been observed in several systems. When AS occurs in a sender-receiver configuration, the latter can predict the future dynamics of the former for certain parameter values. In particular, in neuroscience AS was proposed to explain the apparent discrepancy between information flow and time lag in the cortical activity recorded in monkeys. Despite its success, a clear understanding of the mechanisms yielding AS in neuronal circuits is still missing. Here we use the well-known phase-response-curve (PRC) approach to study the prototypical sender-receiver-interneuron neuronal motif. Our aim is to better understand how the transitions between delayed to anticipated synchronization and anticipated synchronization to phase-drift regimes occur. We construct a map based on the PRC method to predict the phase-locking regimes and their stability. We find that a PRC function of two variables, accounting simultaneously for the inputs from sender and interneuron into the receiver, is essential to reproduce the numerical results obtained using a Hodgkin-Huxley model for the neurons. On the contrary, the typical approximation that considers a sum of two independent single-variable PRCs fails for intermediate to high values of the inhibitory coupling strength of the interneuron. In particular, it loses the delayed-synchronization to anticipated-synchronization transition.

Information transmission and criticality in the contact process

Marzio Cassandro, Antonio Galves and Eva Löcherbach

In the present paper, we study the relation between criticality and information transmission in the one-dimensional contact process with infection parameter λ. To do this we define the {\it sensitivity} of the process to its initial condition. This sensitivity increases for values of λ ‹ λc, the value of the critical parameter. The main point of the present paper is that we show that actually it continues increasing even after λc and only starts decreasing for sufficiently large values of λ. This provides a counterexample to the common belief that associates maximal information transmission to criticality.

An overview of mathematical literacy in Brazil: an interview with PISA analyst Esther Carvalhaes

"Most students in Brazil, after spending many years in compulsory education, are unable to make use of mathematics concepts and procedures to perform even basic operations and solve very simple problems.” This statement comes from the OECD's PISA analyst Esther Carvalhaes, who came to Brazil as a NeuroMat guest for a series of events on mathematical literacy. She was interviewed by the NeuroMat dissemination team in the occasion.

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