Grants awarded

The corticol representation of low-probability stimuli and its neuromorphic implimentation


Dr Natacha Vanattou-Saifoudine

University of Sheffield

United Kingdom

Understanding brain functionalities has been a source of intensive worldwide research but many have still not been fully uncovered. One of these is attention control and attention reallocation which are essential in our daily life. In fact, our sensory surroundings is made of multiple and complex signal sources and the brain extracts relevant stimuli from this continuous source of stimuli. Therefore rare events (also called deviants) have much more behavioural importance than background noise and one known neuronal marker of deviance detection is the stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA). SSA occurs when the activity of a cortical neuron response decreases when exposed to a constant or repetitive stimulus while at the same time responding to a rare deviant stimulus that still has high activity. In previous work, research groups have been able to establish that SSA allowed detection of novel stimuli and irregularities in the auditory and somatosensory systems but the underlying mechanisms involved remain unknown.

This project will investigate the biophysical mechanisms of SSA as well as its implementation on neuromorphic analogue circuitry.