Upcoming Events

  • Please join Carney’s Center for Computational Brain Science (CCBS) on March 8 for a special seminar on “Untangling brain-wide current flow using neural network models,” featuring Kanaka Rajan, assistant professor of neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Friedman Brain Institute.


    The Rajan Lab designs neural network models constrained by experimental data, and reverse engineers them to figure out how brain circuits function in health and disease. Recently, we have been developing a powerful new theory-based framework for “in-vivo tract tracing” from multi-regional neural activity collected experimentally.

    We call this framework CURrent-Based Decomposition (CURBD). CURBD employs recurrent neural networks (RNNs) directly constrained, from the outset, by time series measurements acquired experimentally, such as Ca2+ imaging or electrophysiological data. Once trained, these data-constrained RNNs let us infer matrices quantifying the interactions between all pairs of modeled units. Such model-derived “directed interaction matrices” can then be used to separately compute excitatory and inhibitory input currents that drive a given neuron from all other neurons. Therefore different current sources can be de-mixed – either within the same region or from other regions, potentially brain-wide – which collectively give rise to the population dynamics observed experimentally. Source de-mixed currents obtained through CURBD allow an unprecedented view into multi-region mechanisms inaccessible from measurements alone.

    We have applied this method successfully to several types of neural data from our experimental collaborators, e.g., zebrafish (Deisseroth lab, Stanford), mice (Harvey lab, Harvard), monkeys (Rudebeck lab, Sinai), and humans (Rutishauser lab, Cedars Sinai), where we have discovered both directed interactions brain wide and inter-area currents during different types of behaviors. With this powerful framework based on data-constrained multi-region RNNs and CURrent Based Decomposition (CURBD), we ask if there are conserved multi-region mechanisms across different species, as well as identify key divergences.

    More Information Biology, Medicine, Public Health, CCBS, Psychology & Cognitive Sciences, Research