The virtuous cycle of research, communication and education: an interview with Prof. Antonio Carlos Roque

The Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (CEPID NeuroMat) has ripened its education, culture and communication strategy. A meeting at the University of São Paulo on January, 27, 2015, brought together NeuroMat’s scientific dissemination team as well as Prof. Ernst Hamburger, Prof. Lisbeth Cordani, Prof. Annie Vialà, Prof. Antonio Galves, Prof. André Frazão Helene and Prof. Antonio Carlos Roque. The latter has assumed a leading role in devising NeuroMat’s dissemination strategy.

NeuroMat scientific dissemination to emphasize new media technologies

New technologies have been an especially significant means of disseminating results and outcomes of the FAPESP’s Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (CEPID NeuroMat). The NeuroMat scientific dissemination team has been involved in media production in wiki frameworks —those related to the Wikimedia Foundation— and social media, especially through a NeuroMat page on Facebook. These media venues are part of what has been called “Web 2.0 services,” a set of sites that allow and encourage interaction and collaboration, thus potentially fostering the emergence of an active community around Neuromathematics and pertaining topics.

MEPHunter, a free software for signal visualization and analysis

NeuroMat, FAPESP's Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics, has become a reference for open-science tools, particularly free software, and has attracted potential partners. On November, 26, 2014, a researcher from the University of São Paulo's Laboratory of Biomagnetism (Biomag Lab), at Ribeirão Preto, Victor Hugo de Oliveira e Souza, presented to the NeuroMat technology-transfer team an open-access, free software to help signal visualization and analysis, the Motor Evoked Potentials Hunter (MEPHunter). According to Souza, the assessment of electrophysiological data is currently a time-consuming step in experimental procedures, and the MEPHunter is a means of making this step more efficient. “Most researchers spend many hours learning computer programming to write scripts to analyze their own data. This is related to many available softwares being difficult to use, with no graphical user interface or limited number of functionalities,” he explained. The Biomag Lab team started to develop MEPHunter in 2011. This software has been designed to work specifically with experiments that use surface electromyography (sEMG) data recorded in transcranial magnetic stimulations (TMS).

A NeuroMat software, NES makes the headlines

The recent release of the initial version of Neuroscience Experiments System (NES), an open-source tool to manage clinical data gathered in hospitals and research institutions, has attracted wide media interest. The Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (FAPESP’s CEPID NeuroMat) software development team has created and continue working on this technology. The release of NES was the object of the previous edition of NeuroMat’s newsletter, here.

Goals, challenges and horizons of spike sorting

Prof. Christophe Pouzat at NeuroMat's training on spike sorting, at the University of São Paulo, November, 2014. Available at Wikimedia Commons.

How do we distinguish the activity of one or more neurons in a set of recorded neural activity? How do we assign spikes to different neurons? What mathematical, computational tools are available to sort spikes? These questions, among others, informed a three-day-long training on spike sorting that FAPESP's Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (CEPID NeuroMat) hosted in São Paulo at the end of November (25-27), with Prof. Christian Pouzat, a researcher of the Applied Maths Laboratory of the Paris-Descartes University and a specialist in spike sorting.

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Podcast A Matemática do Cérebro
Podcast A Matemática do Cérebro
NeuroMat Brachial Plexus Injury Initiative
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Neuroscience Experiments System
Logo of the Neuroscience Experiments System
NeuroMat Parkinson Network
Logo of the NeuroMat Parkinson Network
NeuroMat's scientific-dissemination blog
Logo of the NeuroMat's scientific-dissemination blog