ESI Lecture by Matthias Kaschube

Internally generated brain dynamics for building, refining and transforming functional neural networks

Our sensory environment, arguably, leaves a strong footprint in our brain networks. However, neural circuits themselves produce dynamic changes on a broad range of time scales and we are only beginning to appreciate the significance of these internally generated dynamics for sensory processing, learning and development. Here, I will first highlight the contribution of dynamic network interactions for building and refining sensory representations in the early developing visual system. Then, shifting towards the mature auditory cortex I will describe a set of elementary network transformations that can be used to describe newly formed associations during learning. Finally, I will sketch how work on the very distinct yet highly elaborated brain of cuttlefish could help to shed new light on the functional role of internally generated brain dynamics.