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Large-scale analysis of neuronal population activity

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 NEUROPOP project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the NEUROPOP project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "NEUROPOP" about.

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Project "NEUROPOP" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: LONDON
postcode: WC1E 6BT
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 2˙499˙131 €
 EC max contribution 2˙499˙131 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-AdG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-10-01   to  2021-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON UK (LONDON) coordinator 2˙499˙131.00


 Project objective

The brain works through the activity of large, spatially distributed neuronal populations. Recent technological advances enable recordings of thousands of neurons from multiple brain structures, offering an unprecedented opportunity to understand neuronal population activity. However, mathematical and computational advances are also required to turn the resulting flood of data into concise principles summarizing brain function. Ideally, these principles would be not just be qualitative, but quantitative: simple formulae that capture the dynamics of neuronal populations, the underlying circuit mechanisms, and their behavioral impact.

We will combine large-scale neuronal recording with novel data analysis techniques to study the structure of population activity within and between areas. We will use twelve 960-site probes simultaneously to record from several regions of cortex, hippocampus, thalamus and other structures in awake mice, complemented by recordings combining single high-count probes with wide-field calcium imaging. Optogenetic stimulation of excitatory and inhibitory populations will probe the mechanistic basis of population activity, and experiments in mice performing a discrimination task will probe its effect on behavioral output.

We hypothesize that population activity can be quantitatively summarized by a two-level model: first, a low-dimensional dynamical system that captures the macroscopic activity of excitatory and inhibitory populations in each area as a function of brain state; and second, models predicting each neuron’s activity from the interaction of macroscopic variables with specific signals such as sensory inputs. We will validate our models mechanistically by their ability to predict of the effect of optogenetic perturbations on neural firing and behavioral output. The resulting models will form a compact summary of the mechanisms underlying neuronal population activity across multiple brain areas, and their relation to behavior.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Nicholas A. Steinmetz, Peter Zatka-Haas, Matteo Carandini, Kenneth D. Harris
Distributed correlates of visually-guided behavior across the mouse brain
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.1101/474437
bioRxiv 2019-09-04
2019 Carsen Stringer, Marius Pachitariu, Nicholas Steinmetz, Charu Bai Reddy, Matteo Carandini, Kenneth D. Harris
Spontaneous behaviors drive multidimensional, brainwide activity
published pages: eaav7893, ISSN: 0036-8075, DOI: 10.1126/science.aav7893
Science 364/6437 2019-09-04
2019 Michael Okun, Nicholas A Steinmetz, Armin Lak, Martynas Dervinis, Kenneth D Harris
Distinct Structure of Cortical Population Activity on Fast and Infraslow Timescales
published pages: 2196-2210, ISSN: 1047-3211, DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhz023
Cerebral Cortex 29/5 2019-09-04
2019 Carsen Stringer, Marius Pachitariu, Nicholas Steinmetz, Matteo Carandini & Kenneth D. Harris
High-dimensional geometry of population responses in visual cortex
published pages: , ISSN: 0028-0836, DOI:
Nature 2019-09-04
2018 Mario Dipoppa, Adam Ranson, Michael Krumin, Marius Pachitariu, Matteo Carandini, Kenneth D. Harris
Vision and Locomotion Shape the Interactions between Neuron Types in Mouse Visual Cortex
published pages: 602-615.e8, ISSN: 0896-6273, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.03.037
Neuron 98/3 2019-06-13

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