Jesse Palma studies the dynamics of neural codes and learning in biological spiking models to understand how memory stability can overcome interference in distributed representations. With this aim, he has completed a project with Professor Stephen Grossberg and Dr. Max Versace on the function of the neurotransmitter Acetycholine (ACh) and after-hyperpolarization (AHP) currents.
The spiking model matches physiological properties of a breadth of AHP currents observed in mammalian neocortices and characterizes their dependence on behavioral ACh concentrations. The simulations demonstrate how their collective state controls the shape of neuron transfer functions. They are currently exploring the impact of these effects on thalamocortical circuitry as a vigilance signal. His intent is to explain how cholinergic innervation can regulate memory specificity during learning by shifting the processing mode of target populations in a context-sensitive manner.
Last updated on May 18, 2011