Ph.D. Program in Complex Systems and the Brain Sciences at FAU

Tom Holroyd tomh at BAMBI.CCS.FAU.EDU
Sat Jan 14 23:18:27 EST 1995

Ph.D. Program in Complex Systems and the Brain Sciences

An NIMH National Training Program in Complex Systems and the
Brain Sciences at Florida Atlantic University

See our web page at

The National Institutes of Mental Health (Neurosciences Research Branch)
and the Center for Complex Systems at Florida Atlantic University announce
a nationwide training program in Complex Systems and the Brain Sciences for
both pre- and post-doctoral fellows.  The aim of this research and training
program is to blend emerging concepts and models of complex systems (e.g.
in nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory) with specific experimental model
systems in the behavioral and brain sciences.  The program is under the
direction of Dr. J.A.S. Kelso.

The human brain possesses some 10^12 neurons and 10^15 neuronal
connections which generate complex patterns of behavior. The
interdisciplinary and emerging field of nonlinear dynamics offers new
strategies and paradigms for understanding complex systems such as the human
brain and its relation to behavior.  For example, it now appears that
pattern formation and self-organization in nonequilibrium physical, chemical
and biological systems may be governed by a number of general principles.
This emphasis in the natural sciences on structure formation in complex
systems is bridging the gap between what one element does and what many of
them do when they function cooperatively.  The goal of neuroscience, since
its early beginnings, has been to do the same for neurons and neuronal
groups.  Neuroscience must now be supplemented with new mathematical ideas,
research strategies and computational tools, if the inherent complexity of
the most complex system of all - the human brain and its relation to
behavior - are to be understood.  The aim of this federally funded training
program is to create a new kind of `dynamical brain scientist.' She/he will
be a theoretically oriented, mathematically sophisticated, computer-literate
individual who will bring new ways of thinking into the experimental arena.
The Training Program stresses the need for trainees to acquire research
skills in specific experimental systems in the brain and behavioral
sciences conjointly with developing theoretical concepts, tools and
intuitions within a specially tailored graduate program and post-doctoral

The Center for Complex Systems
At the Center for Complex Systems, the experimental study of particular
biological systems (at both behavioral and neural levels) goes hand in hand
with the elaboration of physically-founded theories of pattern formation
and self-organization in open, non-equilibrium systems.  The
theory-experiment relation is being established in various experimental
systems, at various levels of observation (e.g. neuronal,
electromyographic, kinematic, ...), and encompasses various behavioral
functions.  The physical, mathematical and computational aspects of the
program are aided by a formal linkage between the Center and the Institute
for Theoretical Physics and Synergetics in Stuttgart directed by Professor
Dr. H. Haken, who co-directs the Center for Complex Systems at FAU.

Graduate Admission and Study
Students interested in the Ph.D. Degree in Complex Systems and the Brain
Sciences should request an application packet by sending a letter of
interest to:

	Dr. Betty Tuller
	Associate Director
	Program in Complex Systems and the Brain Sciences
	Florida Atlantic University
	777 Glades Road, P.O. Box 3091
	Boca Raton, FL 33431
	email: tuller at

Graduate training is research oriented and consists of a core curriculum in
neuroscience (including neural networks and cognitive science), the
mathematical concepts and tools of nonlinear dynamical systems, and
computational science.	Students will receive the Ph.D. degree in Complex
Systems and Brain Sciences.  Postdoctoral candidates should have a strong
interdisciplinary interest.

Competitive stipends for pre- and post-doctoral fellows are available
through the NIMH training grant, individual research grants or the

Research Laboratories
There are three main research laboratories: The Human Brain and Behavior
Laboratory, the Neurosciences Laboratories and the Laboratory for
Experimental Mathematics. In addition, extensive computational facilities
(including Alpha AXP and Silicon Graphics Workstations) are available.
Students will have full access to these computational facilities at the
Center for Complex Systems.  Students will be acquainted with the research
being conducted in the research laboratories and depending on their
interests will be assigned to a laboratory shortly after arrival.  However,
students will have the opportunity to rotate through a series of research
laboratories during their first two years in the program before selecting a
thesis advisor.  Students are expected to be actively involved in research
during their entire five years in the program. A central focus of the
program is weekly seminars and informal lunch talks.  As the course load
lightens time for independent research will increase. The students' research
will be developed through a close working relationship with their thesis
advisor, dissertation Committee, and regular contact with the Program

Active research areas include:

* sensorimotor control and coordination
* brain stem neurophysiology
* neural growth and development
* biophysics of ion channels
* speech production and perception
* neurolinguistics
* learning and memory
* neuropsychopharmacology
* visual psychophysics
* human brain imaging and event related potentials
* mathematics of complex systems including fractals and chaos
* nonlinear dynamics
* neural networks
* robotics

Post-Doctoral Training
Every effort will be made to match the area of interest of the incoming
post-doctoral trainees with an appropriate faculty member or laboratory at
FAU.  Post-doctoral trainees will be allowed to audit any course in the
Training Program in order to supplement earlier graduate training.
Applications for admission will be evaluated by an admissions committee
formed from the faculty in the Program for Complex Systems and the Brain
Sciences.  Post-doctoral candidates should forward a copy of their
curriculum vita, four letters of recommendation and a letter indicating
their interests to the Program Director, Dr. J.A.S. Kelso.

Listed below are the Primary Faculty at Florida Atlantic University (and
their research interests) who contribute to the Program, although many
faculty members from other University Departments also participate in the

Steven Bressler - Cognitive neuroscience; Investigation of
cognitive processing through analysis of brain electrical signals.
Gonzalo de Guzman - Theoretical and experimental studies of
nonlinear dynamical systems.
Mingzhou Ding - Nonlinear dynamics and its application to
biological systems.
Hermann Haken - Synergetic principles in physical, chemical
and biological systems.
Howard Hock - Visual psychophysics: Perception of
movement, bistable apparent motion; visual pattern
J. A. Scott Kelso - Self-organization of brain and behavior;
perceptual-motor coordination and learning; dynamic pattern
Larry S. Liebovitch - Biophysics of ion channels, fractal and
nonlinear analysis of molecular and physiological systems.
Arnold J. Mandell - Chaotic dynamics of biological systems,
heart monitoring, brain protein synthesis, polypeptides.
Abhijit Pandya - Neural network models of visual processes.
Gary W. Perry - Molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating
neural development, growth, and regeneration.
Heinz-Otto Peitgen - Pattern formation; fractals; cellular
Lewis Shapiro - Lexical and sentence processing in
neurologically intact and impaired populations.
Betty Tuller - Pattern dynamics of speech production and speech
Robert P. Vertes - Functional organization of the brainstem and
its control of forebrain function;  neurophysiology of sleep.

Tom Holroyd
Program in Complex Systems and the Brain Sciences	   The basis of
Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431 USA	   stability is
tomh at					   instability.
The 9th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be
construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list