Mason Scientist to Offer His ‘Vision’ of the Brain

Posted: October 20, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Giorgio Ascoli
Giorgio Ascoli
Creative Services photo

For decades, the construction of a computational model of the brain has been a kind of “holy grail” in both brain science and computing. On Monday, Oct. 23, 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.

Part of the Mason’s Vision Series, the lecture is free and open to the public. It will be held 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?

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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