Dept.: Associate Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics; Adjunct Associate Professor, Physiology & Biophysics
Neuroscience Focus Groups:
Eric’s group works on the dynamics of neural networks and neural populations. These dynamics are beautiful, and are richly varied from setting to setting – at times governed by mechanisms we can distill and explain and at times eluding our best analytical tools. Beyond understanding the nonlinear dynamics of neural circuits, we want to understand how they encode and make decisions about the sensory world.
Ongoing projects are on: (1) the time course of decision making in neural networks, seeking both behavioral signatures and neural correlates of decision processing that we can test for in data, (2) collective coding in neural populations, (3) graph-theory tools that link architecture and neural dynamics, with the aim of helping to cut connectomics problems down to size.Making progress on these problems requires a range of perspectives and methods. Eric and his group delight in collaboration with fellow theorists of many different backgrounds, and in close ties with with cognitive neuroscientists, biophysicists, and neurophysiologists. These colleagues are developing extraordinary datasets that reveal the brain’s dynamics on a range of scales that would have been unimaginable even a decade ago. As a consequence opportunities for impactful mathematical analysis and modeling currently seem boundless.Eric’s group works within the creative and expansive neuroscience community at UW, and collaborates closely with Allen Institute for Brain Science, a unique and inspiring institution that we are lucky to have just across our city.