Neural Masses and Fields: Modelling the Dynamics of Brain Activity

Neural Masses and Fields: Modelling the Dynamics of Brain Activity

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Biophysical modelling of brain activity has a long and illustrious history and has recently profited from technological advances that furnish neuroimaging data at an unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution. Neuronal modelling is a very active area of research, with applications ranging from the characterization of neurobiological and cognitive processes, to constructing artificial brains in silico and building brain-machine interface and neuroprosthetic devices. Biophysical modelling has always benefited from interdisciplinary interactions between different and seemingly distant fields; ranging from mathematics and engineering to linguistics and psychology. This Research Topic aims to promote such interactions by promoting papers that contribute to a deeper understanding of neural activity as measured by fMRI or electrophysiology. In general, mean field models of neural activity can be divided into two classes: neural mass and neural field models. The main difference between these classes is that field models prescribe how a quantity characterizing neural activity (such as average depolarization of a neural population) evolves over both space and time as opposed to mass models, which characterize activity over time only; by assuming that all neurons in a population are located at (approximately) the same point. This Research Topic focuses on both classes of models and considers several aspects and their relative merits that: span from synapses to the whole brain; comparisons of their predictions with EEG and MEG spectra of spontaneous brain activity; evoked responses, seizures, and fitting data - to infer brain states and map physiological parameters.FIGURE 1 |Schematic of the modified Wilsona€“Cowan model. ... The set of parameters (wEE, wIE, wEI, wII) are gain parameters that give the strength of connections between the excitatory and inhibitory populations as indicated in Figure 1.

Title:Neural Masses and Fields: Modelling the Dynamics of Brain Activity
Author: Karl Friston
Publisher:Frontiers Media SA - 2015-05-25

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