Dr. Sridharan Devarajan, CSA Faculty Colloquium

Location: CSA Seminar Room No. 254

Speaker : Dr. Sridharan Devarajan
Assistant Professor
Dept. of CNS & CSA

Title : Computational approaches for understanding brain structure and function

Date : Friday, May 17, 2019

Time : 4:00 PM

Venue : CSA Seminar Hall (Room No. 254, First Floor)


Our brain is arguably the most complex biological organ. The large number of brain cells or neurons (~100 billion) and their connections (several trillions) produce an amazing diversity of neural dynamics. Understanding essential principles by which this complex machinery produces cognition is a fundamental challenge for 21st century science. Emerging approaches at the interface of neuroscience, computer science and neuroengineering provide a powerful paradigm for meeting this challenge.

In this talk, I will present two projects in our lab of this flavor. First, I will describe the recent development of a GPU-based algorithm (ReAl-LiFE) which enables efficient discovery of individualized brain connectomes in large databases. In conjunction with machine learning, ReAl-LiFE may help identify key signatures of pathological connectivity in neurodegenerative disorders (e.g. Alzheimer’s Disease). Next, I will describe our ongoing efforts to develop an EEG-based real-time brain-computer interface (BCI). I will highlight key neuroscience and computational advances that enabled developing this BCI and show how an essentially engineering problem can lead to fundamental insights about how attention works in the brain (collaborative project with Prof. Byron Yu, Carnegie Mellon University). I will conclude by discussing why such interdisciplinary approaches are relevant for understanding brain function, in health and in disease.

Biography of the speaker

Sridharan Devarajan received his bachelors and masters engineering degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He completed his PhD at Stanford University where, as a Stanford Graduate Fellow, he studied the neural dynamics of attention and executive control with functional neuroimaging and neuromorphic computational modeling with Prof. Kwabena Boahen. He completed his post-doctoral research as a Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford’s School of Medicine with Prof. Eric Knudsen, investigating neural circuit mechanisms of attention. He is now an Assistant Professor and Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance Fellow at the Centre for Neuroscience and an Associate Faculty of the Department of Computer Science and Automation at IISc, Bangalore. Awards include a SERB Early Career Award, and a Pratiksha Trusts Young Investigator grant.

Host Faculty : Prof. Sunil L Chandran & Prof. Shalabh Bhatnagar


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