Sloppy regulatory mechanisms in the nervous system

27 February 2015

Timothy O'Leary
Marder Lab, Volen Center for Complex Systems
Brandeis University


Nervous system function depends on the electrical properties of neurons and these properties are largely determined by the types and distribution of ion channels expressed in the neuronal membrane. Perhaps surprisingly, ion channel expression is found to be extremely variable even in neurons that have very stereotyped properties and functions. How can this variability be reconciled with stable function? And what does variability tell us about the underlying regulation mechanisms in neurons? I will discuss recent theoretical work that offers simple conceptual answers to these questions and which implicates regulation, or 'homeostasis' in nervous system dysfunction as well as its robustness.

current theory lunch schedule