Brain Networks and Epilepsy
Main Conference Room (Ground Floor)
Centre for Neural Engineering Building #261
203 Bouverie St, Carlton
T: (03) 8344 6690
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The Melbourne School of Engineering presents a special NeuroEngineering Laboratory Seminar, with a guest speaker from the University of Exeter, UK, Professor John Terry. Professor Terry is an excellent speaker and his work is of the highest quality. ProfessorTerry is a world leader in computational and theoretical neuroscience, and nonlinear dynamics. His work focuses on studying oscillatory systems in the brain, with strong clinical implications.
In this seminar Professor Terry explores two classes of models (biophysically inspired and phenomenologically derived) to study network mechanisms of seizure initiation and evolution. He first introduces a biophysically inspired model, based on the principles of mass action, and demonstrate that transitions in the model precisely correspond to those observed in the EEG recordings of patients with absences. He describes how a genetic algorithm with a multi-objective cost function can be used to estimate model parameters directly from patient EEG, as a first step towards model derived patient specific markers. Professor Terry then focuses attention on a phenomenological model of seizure initiation, where the temporal scale of description changes from the order milliseconds (associated with the spike-wave cycle) to minutes (associated with the frequency of absences). He demonstrates how the dynamic model can be used to explain apparently counterintuitive findings from network studies of patients with epilepsy, their relatives and healthy controls.
Professor Terry’s research is focused on the development and application of mathematical and computational methodologies for understanding the dynamics of biomedical systems, with particular interests in the transitions between healthy and diseased states in the human brain and also in the dynamics of endocrine systems. Following postdoctoral positions at the University of Warwick and the University of Queensland, Professor Terry was appointed Lecturer in Mathematical Sciences at Loughborough University in 2002. From 2006–2010, he was first Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer and finally Reader within the Department of Engineering Mathematics at the University of Bristol. He then moved to a Prize Readership in Theoretical Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield in 2010, before joining the University of Exeter in 2012.
Professor Terry has a long track-record in multidisciplinary research with scientists in clinical and experimental neuroscience, where he is internationally renowned for systems modelling approaches in neuroscience and endocrinology, in particular applications to epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis. Current research includes:
Characterising the evolution of epilepsies using neural modelling techniques, with the aim to create improved diagnosis techniques for clinicians and to better predict treatment outcomes. Developing tools for describing networks of interacting brain regions and characterising seizure initiation based upon network structure. Developing models for interpreting the effects of Deep Brain Stimulation with applications to Parkinson’s and Epilepsy. Exploring the interactions between neural dynamics and hormone secretions in the Hypothalmic-Pituituary-Adrenal axis; by understanding the mechanisms responsible for fluctuations observed in blood concentrations of steroids, more appropriate treatments for a number of clinical conditions may be developed.