Mind, Technology, and Society Talk Series

Bradley Voytek
Assistant Professor, UC San Diego
Time/Date: 3-4:30 p.m. Monday, January 25, 2016

COB 110

Cognitive networks and the noisy brain

Humans have an interesting capacity for maintaining multiple, overlapping behavioral goals at different timescales–from the control of immediate actions to holding more abstract long-term goals in mind. Using a combination of invasive and non-invasive human electrophysiology, as well as neuronal modeling, we provide evidence that interregional oscillatory coupling coordinates brief windows of spiking activity between frontal subregions. This interregional communication occurs in a noisy neuronal environment, and I show how age-related changes in neuronal noise affect neural communication.


Bradley Voytek is an assistant professor in the Department of Cognitive Science and the Neurosciences Graduate Program at UC San Diego and an Alfred P. Sloan Neuroscience Research Fellow. He received his PhD from UC Berkeley and was a post-doctoral fellow at UCSF. His research centers around the computational role that neural oscillations play in coordinating information transfer in the brain. His research program combines large-scale data mining and machine learning techniques with hypothesis-driven experimental research. He is also known for his zombie brain “research” with his friend and fellow neuroscientist Timothy Verstynen, with whom he has published the book Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?, by Princeton University Press. He blogs at Oscillatory Thoughts and is active on twitter as @bradleyvoytek.