Brent Doiron, assistant professor in the Dietrich School’s Department of Mathematics, is a recipient of the 2012 Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Research. Congratulations, Brent!
The breadth of topics that Doiron covers in his research is exceptionally diverse as he seeks to identify how single neurons and networks of neurons code information about relevant inputs. Using a combination of statistical mechanics, nonlinear system theory, and information theory, Doiron’s group has as its main goal the linking of brain dynamics responsible for coding with putative coding schemes that may be general across many sensory systems. Nordenberg’s letter to Doiron cited his “significant contributions in cellular neuroscience; sensory computation ranging over electrosensory, auditory, somatosensory, and olfactory systems; cognitive neuroscience; and new research in neural pathologies such as Parkinson’s disease and tinnitus.” Noting that these areas are traditionally separate subsets of neuroscience, Nordenberg said the general theoretical framework that Doiron has created for how neurons create and transfer variability “has provided deep links between the fields, thereby exposing some core neuroscience principles.”