Prof Alex Wade, University of York
Title Linking neural population measurements in animals and humans using steady state visually evoked potentials
It is difficult to measure neural activity in humans directly. One promising method is to use source imaging of steady-state electromagnetic signals to obtain estimates of current density across the cortex with millisecond resolution. These measurements can be combined with retinotopic mapping approaches from fMRI to estimate population responses in individual visual areas with good spatial and temporal precision. In the first part of my talk I will describe some of the applications of this approach to the study of contrast processing in the early visual cortex and the effects of context, attention and neurological disease. In the second part of the talk I will demonstrate the use of steady-state visually-evoked potentials to measure visual function in Drosophila models of neurological disease. The fundamental computations governing neural gain control appear to be similar in humans and flies, leading to the possibility of establishing biomarker 'bridges' between the two organisms that will facilitate basic research into disease models and therapies.