[Neuroscience] MiCRAM Website

herwin from btinternet.com.invalid via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by herwin from btinternet.com.invalid)
Thu Jul 2 01:26:40 EST 2009

The MiCRAM website has been rehosted at 
This site documents the auditory research that Adrian Rees and Harry 
Erwin are performing collaboratively using EPSRC funding (starting 1 
July 2006) as a interdisciplinary project between the University of 
Newcastle upon Tyne School of Neurology, Neurobiology and Psychiatry and 
the University of Sunderland School of Computing. The overall goal is to 
study sound processing in the mammalian brain and to build a 
computational model which can be tested on a biomimetic robot artefact 
to refine the neuroscience models. The robotic work is being led by 
Professor Stefan Wermter at the University of Sunderland.

This research involves the collaborative development of a biologically 
plausible model of auditory processing at the level of the inferior 
colliculus. This approach potentially clarifies the roles of the 
multiple spectral and temporal representations that are present at the 
level of the inferior colliculus and investigate how representations of 
sounds interact with auditory processing at that level to focus 
attention and select sound sources for deeper analysis.

A key feature of our approach is to maximise the use of existing data 
from our own and other laboratories. The inferior colliculus has been 
extensively studied in many species including several non-specialised 
mammals and echolocating bats. Much of this vast body of data exists in 
isolation and has not been formally synthesised. This is a severe 
hindrance, both to our understanding of the colliculus, and our ability 
to incorporate it into neural models. The goal of building a model with 
specific outcomes and measurable performance will provide a formal 
framework to underpin the data synthesis we propose. Our approach of 
mining existing data will also contribute to Government's objective in 
the 3Rs (Replacement, Refinement and Reduction) of reducing the number 
of animals used in experiments. Dr. Reesís knowledge of the inferior 
colliculus and extensive connections with other researchers in the field 
will be key to this approach. Where specific information required for 
the model is not available we will have the capability to address these 
questions experimentally. The model will in turn have predictive power 
that will also guide future experiments in the quest for emergent 

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