[Seminar] Neural coding in the developing zebrafish brain by Prof. Geoffrey Goodhill
During neural development the brain must wire itself appropriately to process sensory cues and produce relevant behaviours. The larval zebrafish provides an excellent model system for studying how such neural coding develops, since interesting behaviours emerge rapidly and brain activity can be directly imaged using fluorescent calcium indicators. I will discuss our recent work examining how both spontaneous and evoked patterns of activity develop in the zebrafish brain, and how these are correlated with changes in prey-capture behaviour. This includes computational analyses of how to best identify neural assemblies in calcium imaging data, and how Hebbian plasticity rules might underlie the formation of such assemblies. I will also discuss a new probabilistic latent variable model for calcium imaging data which reveals the extent to which neurons are driven by visual stimuli, latent sources of spontaneous activity, and their interaction.
I have been primary supervisor for 12 PhD students and 18 postdocs, several of whom are now Professors.I have taught courses in Computational Neuroscience, Mathematical Biology, Medical Neuroscience, Developmental Neuroscience, Numerical Methods and Scientific Computing (current obligation 1.25 courses/ year for the Maths department at UQ).