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11/16/2001
New Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience opens at UCSD

New Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience at the University of California at San Diego Explores Human Brain Dynamics ____________________________________________________________

The Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience at UCSD opened on November 16, 2001, with a dedication ceremony at 12 PM. Dr. Jerome Swartz of the Swartz Foundation, which is funding the new Center, attended. An open house was held from 6 to 9 p.m. on November 14, during the Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego.

The Swartz Center will focus on human brain dynamics using novel computational and experimental techniques for the analysis of high-resolution functional brain activity recordings. The Center includes experimental laboratories equipped for for electroencephalographic (EEG) activity/behavior studies and advanced computer systems capable of testing dynamic models of functional brain data, as well as office facilities for the scientific staff. The Swartz Center is located adjacent to the UCSD campus, near the new UCSD/Salk Center for Functional Magnetic Imaging, which will enable planned close collaborations between the two centers, including expanding ongoing efforts to collect concurrent electromagnetic (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. "We'll be able to integrate the different kinds of information that these different imaging modalities afford," says Center Associate Director Tzyy-Ping Jung.

According to Scott Makeig, the Director of the Center and Associate Research Scientist at UCSD, "In the last decade a new field, human cognitive neuroscience, has come into scientific prominence because of technical developments in non-invasive brain imaging. In particular, our ability to perform activity studies of humans involved a wide range of cognitive tasks presents an unprecedented scientific opportunity to study how dynamic interactions between different parts of the brain support human awareness and cognitive abilities." . The Center will converge the neurobiological, behavioral, computational and engineering science resources for understanding the relationship between the mind and the brain. The Center will develop new mathematical models of brain dynamics, new signal processing techniques based on these models, and the statistical methods to test them. One experimental goal is to study brain activity that supports social interactions. A second goal is to study our awareness of time and temporal relationships, which is intimately related to brain dynamics. A third area of interest is to study our ability to control of our own brain rhythms, with potential clinical and/or workplace applications.

The new Center will be part of the UCSD Institute for Neural Computation, an organized research unit of the University of California, directed by Terence Sejnowski, a computational neurobiologist in the Department of Biology at UCSD and an Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. “There's now a real opportunity and an acute need to develop and apply new computational methods to derive information about how the brain works from the massive data sets produced by the new non-invasive technologies. The new Swartz Center goes a long way to fulfilling those needs at UCSD,” said Sejnowski. “We are at the threshold of discovering, quite literally, who we are."

Jerome Swartz is a founder, Chairman, and Chief Scientist of Symbol Technologies, the Holtsville N.Y.-based global leader in barcode-based mobile data transaction systems. Under his leadership, Symbol was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 2000. Swartz holds more than 150 U.S. patents. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an IEEE Fellow, and a recipient of the 1998 IEEE Ernst Weber Leadership Award and the 2001 New York Academy of Sciences Eureka Award. Swartz is a board member at Stony Brook University and New York’s Polytechnic University. As Symbol's CEO in the 1980's and 1990's, Swartz guided the company’s research and product development in automatic identification/pattern recognition laser systems.


Contacts

For more information on the Institute for Neural Computation, visit its website at inc.ucsd.edu. The research website of Dr. Makeig, containing extensive references, papers and downloadable software, is currently at www.cnl.salk.edu/~scott. For more information on the Swartz Foundation and its activities, visit its website at www.swartzneuro.org.

The street address of the new Center is:

4150 Regents Park Row, Suite 320 La Jolla CA 92037

Its mailing address is:

Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience Institute for Neural Computation University of California San Diego 0961 La Jolla CA 92093-0961

For further information, contact:

John C. Staight Institute for Neural Computation University of California San Diego 0523 La Jolla CA 92093-0523 (858) 534-8949 (858) 534-2014 fax


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