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"Biologie in unserer Zeit" publishes article on Computational Neuroscience

10.12.2009: The German journal "Biologie in unserer Zeit" has published an article by Bernstein Professor Stefan Rotter and Gunnar Grah on computational neuroscience and recent findings.


Our understanding of the nervous system has made great leaps forward. Yet still, the study of networks of billions of neurons poses an almost insolvable challenge to empirical neurobiology: to capture the activity of a brain as a whole, and to make sense of the observations in detail. Here, “Computational Neuroscience” attempts to build bridges between the concepts of the involved disciplines. The mathematical description of neurons and neuronal networks, as well as the simulation of these systems as computer models, allows fathoming phenomena that could be measured in biological brains only under severe difficulties. In particular, recent studies showed that activity dependent changes of neuronal input resistance can prevent a network from local “explosions” of activity, which otherwise could lead to a complete breakdown of network operation. The same property of neurons also causes a network to remain active when external excitation is switched off. This is an important property of brains, the neuronal mechanisms of which are still widely unknown.

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