Controlling Populations of Neurons

Some brain disorders are hypothesized to have a dynamical origin; in
particular, it has been been hypothesized that some symptoms of
Parkinson’s disease are due to pathologically synchronized neural
activity in the motor control region of the brain. This talk will
describe several different approaches for desynchronizing the activity
of a group of neurons, including maximizing the Lyapunov exponent
associated with their phase dynamics, optimal phase resetting, and
controlling the population to have clustered dynamics. It is hoped
that this work will ultimately lead to improved treatment of
Parkinson’s disease via targeted electrical stimulation. The use of
related control methods for treating other medical disorders,
including cardiac arrhythmias, will also be briefly discussed.