Studying brain diseases through computational models ( 8 hours)

Teachers: Daniele Caligiore (CNR) Silvetti

The course aims to teach students how to study brain diseases by using computational neuroscience models. In particular, the course will underline how it is possible to investigate different aspects of a disease through models reproducing brain functioning at different levels of abstraction. The specific topics of the course will be as follows: 
-Simulating virtual patients having deficit in cerebellum and basal ganglia through embodied computational models; 
-Studying the mechanisms underlying the emergency of early features of Alzheimer’s disease and depression through leaky integrators system-level computational models
-Studying the emergency of motor tics in Tourette syndrome through leaky integrators system-level computational models
-Using spiking neurons system-level models to study the neural mechanisms underlying tremor in Parkinson’s disease
Suggested reads:
– Caligiore, D., Mannella, F., Arbib, M. A., & Baldassarre, G. (2017). Dysfunctions of the basal ganglia-cerebellar-thalamo-cortical system produce motor tics in Tourette syndrome. PLoS computational biology, 13(3), e1005395. 
– Huys, Q. J., Maia, T. V., & Frank, M. J. (2016). Computational psychiatry as a bridge from neuroscience to clinical applications. Nature neuroscience, 19(3), 404-413