Date of Graduation

12-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physics (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Physics

Advisor

Woodrow Shew

Committee Member

Jiali Li

Second Committee Member

Surendra Singh

Third Committee Member

Nate Parks

Keywords

Auditory Discrimination, Inhibition, Mice

Abstract

Understanding how inhibitory neurons affect sensory information processing in the cerebral cortex is an ongoing goal of both neuroscience and statistical physics research. In this master's thesis research project, an experimental system has been designed and built for studying how auditory dynamic range depends on inhibitory neurons, based on observations of mouse behavior. In this thesis, firstly, the topic of inhibition and information processing has been introduced. Then two papers related to inhibition and dynamic range has been reviewed in detail. One of the papers is an experimental work that analyzes the affect of inhibition on dynamic range. The other paper provides a statistical model to infer that dynamic range is maximized at criticality. Finally, the design and assembly of the experimental setup is described in details along with some preliminary data to test the design and future directions for this research.

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