Dr Pulin Gong

Senior lecturer, School of Physics

A28 - Physics Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9036 9368
Fax +61 2 9351 7726

Research interests

Dr Pulin Gong is interested in better understanding the self-organizing mechanisms of spatiotemporal dynamics of neural circuits and the principles underlying how these dynamics implement neural computation.

Distributed dynamic computation: We have proposed that propagating neural waves and their interactions enable neural systems to carry out distributed dynamic computation (DDC). We work on using DDC to understand specific perceptual and cognitive functions such as visual feature integration, associative learning and memory.

Complex neuronal dynamics: Cortical neurons in vivo fire very irregularly. Understanding the origin of such irregularity is of fundamental importance to unravel neural coding principles. We work on developing a unified theoretical account of irregular neural dynamics, including the variability of spike timing, non-Gaussian fluctuations of membrane potential.

Dynamic spatiotemporal patterns: Recently, we have successfully developed a method that is effective in detecting and characterizing coherent spatiotemporal patterns from large-scale data such as MEA recorded spikes and local field potentials. Based on this method, we have found a richer than expected repertoire of coherent structures; beside the plane waves that have been a subject of recent interests, we have found standing waves that are complemented by waves that radiate out or converge to phase singularities, or spiral around them (spiral waves). We investigate the functional nature of these patterns by combining experimental and modeling studies.

Selected Recent Papers:

  • R. Townsend, S. Solomon, S. Chen, A. Pietersen, P. Martin, S. Solomon, and Pulin Gong. Emergence of complex wave patterns in primate cerebral cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 35: 4657-4662 (2015).
  • Adam Keane and Pulin Gong, Propagating waves can explain irregular neural dynamics, Journal of Neuroscience, 35: 1591-1605 (2015).
  • Yang Qi, Michael Breakspear, Pulin Gong, Subdiffusive dynamics of bump attractors: Mechanisms and Functional Roles. Neural Computation, 27: 255-280 (2015).
  • John Palmer and Pulin Gong, Associative learning of classical conditioning as an emergent property of spatially extended spiking neural circuits with synaptic plasticity. Front. Comput. Neurosci., 25 July 2014 | doi: 10.3389/fncom.2014.00079 .
  • P. Gong, Steel, H., Robinson, P., Q, Yang, Dynamic patterns and their interactions in networks of excitable elements. Physical Review E, 88(4), 1-10, 2013.
  • J. Palmer and P. Gong. Formation and Regulation of Dynamic Patterns in Two- imensional Spiking Neural Circuits with Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity. Neural Computation, 25(11), 2833-2857, 2013.
  • P. Gong, S.T.C. Loi, P.A. Robinson and C.Y.J. Yang, Spatiotemporal pattern formation in two-dimensional neural circuits: role of refractoriness and noise. Biological Cybernetics, 107:1-13, 2013.
  • Y. Qi, J. Palmer, P. Gong. Discrete breathers in integrate-and-fire oscillator networks. Europhysics Letters, 102(3), 1-6, 2013.
  • P. Gong and P.A. Robinson, Dynamic pattern formation and collisions in networks of excitable elements. Physical Review E (Rapid Communications), 85, 055101(R), 2012.
  • H. Stewart, P. Gong, and M. Breakspear, A computational role for bistability and traveling waves in motor cortex. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 6, 67 (2012) DOI: 10.3389/fncom.2012.00067.
  • T.M. Patten, C.J. Rennie, P.A. Robinson and P. Gong, Human cortical traveling waves: Dynamical properties and correlations with responses. PLoS One, 7: e38392, 2012.
  • D. van den Berg, P. Gong, M. Breakspear, and C. Van Leeuwen, Fragmentation: Loss of global coherence or breakdown of modularity in functional brain architecture? Frontiers in systems neuroscience, 6: 20 (2012).
  • A. R. Nikolaev, S. Gepshtein, P. Gong and C. van Leeuwen, Duration of coherence intervals in electrical activity in perceptual organization. Cerebral Cortex. 20, 365-382, 2010.
  • P. Gong, C. van Leeuwen, Distributed dynamical computation in neural circuits with propagating coherence activity patterns. PLoS Computational Biology, 5(12): e1000611, 2009.
  • P. Gong and C. van Leeuwen, Dynamically maintained spike timing sequences in networks of pulse-coupled oscillators with delays. Physical Review letters, 98, art. no.048104, 2008.
  • P. Gong, A.R. Nikolaev, and C. van Leeuwen, Intermittent dynamics of collective phase synchronization in the brain electrical activity, Physical Review E, 76, art. no.011904, 2007.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Keane, A., Gong, P. (2015). Propagating waves can explain irregular neural dynamics. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35(4), 1591-1605. [More Information]
  • Palmer, J., Gong, P. (2014). Associative learning of classical conditioning as an emergent property of spatially extended spiking neural circuits with synaptic plasticity. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 8(Jul), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Qi, Y., Palmer, J., Gong, P. (2013). Discrete breathers in integrate-and-fire oscillator networks. Europhysics Letters, 102(3), 1-6. [More Information]
  • Gong, P., Steel, H., Robinson, P., Qi, Y. (2013). Dynamic patterns and their interactions in networks of excitable elements. Physical Review E (Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics), 88(4), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Palmer, J., Gong, P. (2013). Formation and Regulation of Dynamic Patterns in Two-Dimensional Spiking Neural Circuits with Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity. Neural Computation, 25(11), 2833-2857. [More Information]
  • Gong, P., Loi, S., Robinson, P., Yang, C. (2013). Spatiotemporal pattern formation in two-dimensional neural circuits: roles of refractoriness and noise. Biological Cybernetics, 107, 1-13. [More Information]
  • Heitmann, S., Gong, P., Breakspear, M. (2012). A computational role for bistability and traveling waves in motor cortex. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 6, 1-15. [More Information]
  • Gong, P., Robinson, P. (2012). Dynamic pattern formation and collisions in networks of excitable elements. Physical Review E (Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics), 85(5), 1-5. [More Information]
  • van den Berg, D., Gong, P., Breakspear, M., van Leeuwen, C. (2012). Fragmentation: loss of global coherence or breakdown of modularity in functional brain architecture? Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 6, 1-8. [More Information]
  • Patten, T., Rennie, C., Robinson, P., Gong, P. (2012). Human cortical traveling waves: Dynamical properties and correlations with responses. PloS One, 7(6), 1-10. [More Information]

2015

  • Keane, A., Gong, P. (2015). Propagating waves can explain irregular neural dynamics. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35(4), 1591-1605. [More Information]

2014

  • Palmer, J., Gong, P. (2014). Associative learning of classical conditioning as an emergent property of spatially extended spiking neural circuits with synaptic plasticity. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 8(Jul), 1-10. [More Information]

2013

  • Qi, Y., Palmer, J., Gong, P. (2013). Discrete breathers in integrate-and-fire oscillator networks. Europhysics Letters, 102(3), 1-6. [More Information]
  • Gong, P., Steel, H., Robinson, P., Qi, Y. (2013). Dynamic patterns and their interactions in networks of excitable elements. Physical Review E (Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics), 88(4), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Palmer, J., Gong, P. (2013). Formation and Regulation of Dynamic Patterns in Two-Dimensional Spiking Neural Circuits with Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity. Neural Computation, 25(11), 2833-2857. [More Information]
  • Gong, P., Loi, S., Robinson, P., Yang, C. (2013). Spatiotemporal pattern formation in two-dimensional neural circuits: roles of refractoriness and noise. Biological Cybernetics, 107, 1-13. [More Information]

2012

  • Heitmann, S., Gong, P., Breakspear, M. (2012). A computational role for bistability and traveling waves in motor cortex. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 6, 1-15. [More Information]
  • Gong, P., Robinson, P. (2012). Dynamic pattern formation and collisions in networks of excitable elements. Physical Review E (Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics), 85(5), 1-5. [More Information]
  • van den Berg, D., Gong, P., Breakspear, M., van Leeuwen, C. (2012). Fragmentation: loss of global coherence or breakdown of modularity in functional brain architecture? Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 6, 1-8. [More Information]
  • Patten, T., Rennie, C., Robinson, P., Gong, P. (2012). Human cortical traveling waves: Dynamical properties and correlations with responses. PloS One, 7(6), 1-10. [More Information]

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