Fostering interactions in mathematical and computational modeling: an interview with Antonio Carlos Roque

Antonio Carlos Roque, in 2017.

The Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (RIDC NeuroMat) hosts from November 13 to 14 the workshop on "Mathematical and Simulation Modeling in Neuroscience," and on this interview NeuroMat innovation coordinator Antonio Carlos Roque provides a context for this event. According to him, one of the goals of the workshop is to discuss results of the NeuroMat Simulation Laboratory (SimLab).

For more information on the workshop on "Mathematical and Simulation Modeling in Neuroscience" visit:

What is the goal of the workshop?

The goal is to discuss the research projects and to present the achievements and current results of the NeuroMat Simulation Laboratory (SimLab). We also want to foster more interactions between NeuroMat's mathematical and computational modelers.

How does this event connect to previous NeuroMat events and NeuroMat's research directions?

The previous NeuroMat events were aimed at presenting and discussing the major scientific achievements of the center: (1) a new class of stochastic processes to describe networks of spiking neurons; and (2) a new experimental stimulation protocol to study the brain that uses sequences of random objects driven by chains with memory of variable length. The Simlab is pursuing its mission of providing testing platforms for NeuroMat's theoretical studies by constructing and analyzing computational network models based on the new class of stochastic models, and implementing "in silico" versions of the new experimental protocol. So, the event will serve as a forum for the presentation of SimLab's results and the discussion of their significance in the broader context of NeuroMat's research directions

What are your expectations in the short and medium term for simulation activities within NeuroMat? How does this event contribute to achieving these expectations?

We are investigating spiking neural network models with different topologies and neuronal compositions using both the new stochastic neuron model introduced by NeuroMat and deterministic neuron models widely used in computational neuroscience. The objective is to compare them and statistically characterize their behavior in the hope of deriving testable predictions that can be used to differentiate the stochastic from the deterministic models. In parallel, our "in silico" investigations of the new experimental protocol introduced by NeuroMat are expected to produce evidence to test the statistician brain conjecture, which is a central research theme for NeuroMat. These simulation activities should be followed and discussed periodically by the extended NeuroMat research community, and this event constitutes an excellent opportunity for this to happen.

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