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Doiron, Brent

doiron.jpg

Assistant Professor, Mathematics

University of Pittsburgh


Phone: (412) 624-1759

Email: bdoiron@pitt.edu

Individual Website:  www.math.pitt.edu/~bdoiron

 

Ph.D., University of Ottawa

Research Interests

Dr. Doiron focuses his research on establishing links between single cell or network dynamics, and the neural computations that cells, or networks of cells, perform. Approaching the problem with a combination of nonlinear dynamics, non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, and information theory builds a framework from which to answer questions relevant to wide variety of neural systems.  In particular, he is interested in the genesis of synchrony and rhythms in cortical networks, and their impact on the representation of stimuli. 

Synchrony in networks of spiking neurons is a challenging problem for two opposing reasons.  Excessive neuron-neuron synchrony introduces redundancy in a population response, limiting the overall encoding of a stimulus.  However, synchrony is a powerful means by which to propagate signals to downstream centers in the brain, a requirement for the eventual decoding of the stimulus.  Theoretical investigations are needed to best navigate these dual aspects of synchrony in neural coding.  Dr. Doiron currently focuses his research in a variety of sensory systems through collaborations with several experimental labs: Auditory cortex (Dr. Alex Reyes, NYU), Olfactory system (Dr. Nathan Urban, CMU), and the somatosensory system (Dr. Daniel Simon, Pitt). 

Other areas of research include: the dynamics and impact of bursting in sensory neurons, noise-induced phenomena in phasic neurons, and gain control mechanisms for neural response functions.

Recent Publications

  • Litwin-Kumar A., Doiron B. Slow Dynamics and High Variability in Balanced Cortical Networks with Clustered connections. Nature Neuroscience 15: 1498-1505, 2012.
  • Rosenbaum R., Rubin J. Doiron B. Synaptic filtering with short term depression. PLoS Computational Biology. 8(6): e1002557. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002557, 2012.
  • Polk A., Litwin-Kumar A., Doiron B. Correlated Neural Variability in Persistent State Networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), 109:6295-6300, 2012.
  • de la Rocha, J*, Doiron B*, Shea-Brown, E. Josic, K. and Reyes A. Correlation between neural spike trains increase with firing rate. Nature. 448: 802-806, 2007.
  • Doiron B, Chacron MJ, Maler L, Longtin A, Bastain J. Inhibitory feedback required for network oscillatory responses to communication but not prey stimuli. Nature 421:539-543, 2003.