Beggs - Dahmen MiV Seminar - "An Introduction to Neuronal Criticality"

4/14/2023 4:00:00 PM

An Introduction to Neuronal Criticality
John Beggs, Physics, Indiana University
Karin Dahmen, Physics, University of Illinois

 Abstract:  Over the past 20 years, evidence has accumulated that brains from many species operate near a “critical point” where information processing is hypothesized to be nearly optimal. In this talk, we will give a gentle introduction to the critical point, explain how criticality is measured, and describe why this could be relevant for Mind In Vitro experiments.

Bio:  John Beggs and Karin Dahmen, members of the MiV team, have been collaborating for over 10 years. Beggs is an experimental neuroscientist who records from networks of neurons and Dahmen is a theoretical physicist specializing in systems operating near the critical point.

Professor Karin Dahmen received her Vordiplom in physics from the Universität Bonn, Germany in 1989, and her Ph.D in physics from Cornell in 1995. Before joining the faculty at Illinois in 1999, she was a Junior Fellow at Harvard University. She has wide-ranging interests in "soft" condensed matter physics, including nonequilibrium dynamical systems, hysteresis, avalanches, earthquakes, neuroscience, population biology, and disorder-induced critical behavior.

Professor John Beggs received his B.S. and M.Eng. in Engineering Physics from Cornell University. He then taught math and science at Samoa College while in the U.S. Peace Corps. He later obtained a PhD from Yale University and did postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health. Beggs is currently a professor of physics at Indiana University, where his lab uses ideas from statistical physics to describe information processing in networks of neurons.