ECNU-NYU team makes breakthrough in Computational Neuroscience


Professor Wang Xiaojing

WANG Xiaojing, an internationally renowned computational neuroscientist from ECNU, along with his team discovered a new kind of neuro signal transmission mechanism.

This new mechanism was published in the article ‘Inter-areal balanced amplification enhances signal propagation in a large-scale circuit model of the primate cortex’ on the top neuroscientific journal Neuron, shedding light onto humans’ understanding of how consciousness is produced.

Prof. Wang presents his work.

Based on mesoscopic-directed and weighted inter-areal connectivity data of the macaque cortex, scientists at the ECNU-NYU Jointed Research Center for Brain and Cognitive Sciences adopted the newest quantitative approach of Neural Connectomics in order to understand signal transmission processes across the cortex in a network model

Their findings reveal that, in contrast to purely feed-forward propagation models, the presence of long-range excitatory feedback projections could compromise stable signal propagation. Using population rate models as well as a spiking network model, they find that effective signal propagation can be accomplished by balanced amplification across cortical areas while ensuring dynamical stability.

This is a model from the published paper.

Moreover, the activation of prefrontal cortex in their model requires the input strength to exceed a threshold, which is consistent with the ignition model of conscious processing. These findings demonstrate their model as an anatomically realistic platform for investigations of global primate cortex dynamics.

Prof. Wang is the vice president of NYU, Shanghai, professor at Center for Neural Science of New York University and distinguished professor at ECNU’s Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics and Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and ECNU-NYU Jointed Research Center for Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Madhura Joglekar, now teaching at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, joined this research as a post-doc at Prof. Wang’s laboratory.

Read more about Professor Wang's work:

Neuron:Inter-areal Balanced Amplification Enhances Signal Propagation in a Large-Scale Circuit Model of the Primate Cortex


East China Normal University