This non-exhaustive list brings up some of the key achievements of the Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (RIDC NeuroMat/FAPESP) in 2019. It is not conceived as a Statement of Impact --as the 2018 SOI--, since it may not be seen as an official compte-rendu; it is rather an informal recompilation of key moments of our team. This accounts for activities and milestones since NeuroMat's renewal for six years.
1. A mathematical object for retrieving the structure of stimuli in EEG data
The NeuroMat research team has published the first article associated to the conjecture that the brain identifies structures from sequences of stimuli. It means that in order to make predictions the brain analyzes structured sequences of stimuli and retrieves from them statistical regularities. This classical conjecture is often called "Statistician Brain Conjecture" and is associated to studies on how one learns.
2. Second NeuroMat Young Researchers Workshop
On November 27th, we held the Second NeuroMat Young Researchers Workshop, with presentations from junior members of the scientific team. Every Master student, PhD candidate and Postdoc researcher from the RIDC was invited to give a small presentation about her/his current work. The event featured 15 lectures, from morning to evening. The talks were divided between two different theoretical lines: in the morning, the presentations were about the statistical brain and, after lunch, neural networks. Participants came from Universidade de São Paulo, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte and Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.
3. A mathematical model for short-term plasticity
Short term synaptic plasticity refers to a change in the strength of the interaction between neurons on timescales which are of the order of milliseconds, that is, comparable to the timescale of the spiking activity of the network. A NeuroMat paper has proposed a simple probabilistic model describing this phenomenon within a large network of neurons. In the model the strength of the interactions changes over time as a function of the residual calcium concentration within the cell. Residual calcium concentration is a measure of transmitter release, so that the larger the calcium concentration the larger the transmitter release.
4. NeuroMat launches the podcast "A Matemática do Cérebro"
Our dissemination team launched in August the podcast "A Matemática do Cérebro" --in Portuguese, Mathematics of the Brain. This resource, available on the most important podcast technologies and also hosted on its own website, became an important element in our communications strategy, reaching around 700 to 1,200 people per episode.
Three episodes were released (in Portuguese), as of now:
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