Snippets of the Second NeuroMat Workshop

The Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics has hosted this month its second workshop, gathering members of the three teams --research, technology transfer and scientific dissemination-- and guests. The event took place at the University of São Paulo with support from the São Paulo Research Foundation and combined short and long presentations, roundtables and working groups. This workshop provided a sense of the evolution of activities and was an opportunity to exchange interdisciplinary perspectives on ongoing and future lines of action.

Phase transitions and self-organized criticality in networks of stochastic spiking neurons

Ludmila Brochini, Ariadne de Andrade Costa, Miguel Abadi, Antônio C. Roque, Jorge Stolfi and Osame Kinouchi

Phase transitions and critical behavior are crucial issues both in theoretical and experimental neuroscience. We report analytic and computational results about phase transitions and self-organized criticality (SOC) in networks with general stochastic neurons. The stochastic neuron has a firing probability given by a smooth monotonic function Φ(V) of the membrane potential V, rather than a sharp firing threshold. We find that such networks can operate in several dynamic regimes (phases) depending on the average synaptic weight and the shape of the firing function Φ. In particular, we encounter both continuous and discontinuous phase transitions to absorbing states. At the continuous transition critical boundary, neuronal avalanches occur whose distributions of size and duration are given by power laws, as observed in biological neural networks. We also propose and test a new mechanism to produce SOC: the use of dynamic neuronal gains – a form of short-term plasticity probably located at the axon initial segment (AIS) – instead of depressing synapses at the dendrites (as previously studied in the literature). The new self-organization mechanism produces a slightly supercritical state, that we called SOSC, in accord to some intuitions of Alan Turing.

Bolsa para trabalhar com Design de aplicações web e mobile

O Centro de Pesquisa, Inovação e Difusão em Neuromatemática (NeuroMat) está oferecendo uma bolsa de treinamento técnico da FAPESP para profissionais interessados em aplicar seus conhecimentos de computação no desenvolvimento de pesquisa científica de alto nível. O bolsista irá interagir com pesquisadores da USP e demais cientistas e colaboradores do NeuroMat em atividades de desenvolvimento, adaptação, manutenção e instalação de software de suporte à pesquisa científica do centro.

Vagas para programadores

O Centro de Pesquisa, Inovação e Difusão em Neuromatemática (CEPID NeuroMat) está oferecendo bolsas de treinamento técnico para programadores interessados em fazer parte de um centro de pesquisas científicas de alto nível.

Motor Coordination Correlates with Academic Achievement and Cognitive Function in Children

Valter R. Fernandes, Michelle L. Scipião Ribeiro, Thais Melo, Paulo de Tarso Maciel-Pinheiro, Thiago T. Guimarães, Narahyana B. Araújo, Sidarta Ribeiro and Andréa C. Deslandes

The relationship between exercise and cognition is an important topic of research that only recently began to unravel. Here, we set out to investigate the relation between motor skills, cognitive function, and school performance in 45 students from 8 to 14 years of age. We used a cross-sectional design to evaluate motor coordination (Touch Test Disc), agility (Shuttle Run Speed—running back and forth), school performance (Academic Achievement Test), the Stroop test, and six sub-tests of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV (WISC-IV). We found, that the Touch Test Disc was the best predictor of school performance (R2 = 0.20). Significant correlations were also observed between motor coordination and several indices of cognitive function, such as the total score of the Academic Achievement Test (AAT; Spearman's rho = 0.536; p ≤ 0.001), as well as two WISC-IV sub-tests: block design (R = −0.438; p = 0.003) and cancelation (rho = −0.471; p = 0.001). All the other cognitive variables pointed in the same direction, and even correlated with agility, but did not reach statistical significance. Altogether, the data indicate that visual motor coordination and visual selective attention, but not agility, may influence academic achievement and cognitive function. The results highlight the importance of investigating the correlation between physical skills and different aspects of cognition.

Páginas

 

NeuroMat

O Centro de Pesquisa, Inovação e Difusão em Neuromatemática está sediado na Universidade de São Paulo e é financiado pela FAPESP (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo).

 

Login do usuário

 

Contato

Endereço:
Rua do Matão, 1010 - Cidade Universitária - São Paulo - SP - Brasil. 05508-090. Veja o mapa.

Telefone:
55 11 3091-1717

Email:
neuromat@numec.prp.usp.br

Contatos de mídia:
comunicacao@numec.prp.usp.br