SECO Project

The Neuroinformatics Group at CNCR, along with a consortium of several other research groups across Europe, has been awarded a four-year grant in the EU Seventh Research Framework programme Future and Emerging Technologies Scheme (EU 7FP ICT FET) for the project SECO (short for Self Construction). SECO aims at working on methods for designing and implementing self-constructing systems.

In this collaborative project we will work on:
1. The creation of models for neuronal morphogenesis in which cells develop through growth cone migration and branching, and formation of synaptic connections in interaction with their environment. A major challenge is to find a balanced level of description of neuronal outgrowth based on local mechanisms and interactions in space and time that will be suitable for an algorithmic implementation. The models will be used to study the development of cortical and thalamic circuitry.
2. Studies of the reciprocal interactions between neuronal network structure and activity dynamics in developing neural circuits. Using computational models, we will explore the impact of activity-dependent plasticity rules on the evolution of developing neuronal networks under their own (spontaneous) firing activity. The research will be guided by the hypothesis that networks will evolve towards self-consistent states, in which firing patterns stabilizes the synaptic connectivity structure that also gives rise to these firing patterns.