Mason Scientist Giorgio Ascoli to Lecture on How the Brain Works

Posted: October 10, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

For decades, the construction of a computational model of the brain has been a kind of “holy grail” in both brain science and computing. In the next lecture in the Vision Series, Giorgio Ascoli of Mason’s Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study will offer an overview of the architectural principles of the nervous system and how they relate to “real world” cognitive function.

The lecture, free and open to the public, will be held on Monday, Oct. 23, at 8 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

Ascoli’s lecture will pose the following exciting questions: Can computer simulations advance science’s understanding of how the brain works? If so, what does this mean for the future of medicine and science? Is it even possible to create an anatomically plausible neural model of entire portions of a mammalian brain?

Professsor Ascoli has a PhD in biochemistry and neuroscience from the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, Italy. He joined the Krasnow Institute in 1997 and is the founder and head of the Computational Neuroanatomy Group, a multidisciplinary research team comprised of psychologists, biologists, physicists, computer scientists, engineers, mathematicians and physicians.

The founding editor-in-chief of the journal Neuroinformatics, Ascoli investigates the relationship between brain structure, activity and function in health and in pathological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Tickets are required for this free event. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa/vision to reserve tickets and see the full lecture schedule, or visit the Center for the Arts ticket office. For more information, call 703-993-8888.

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