Forma, Vol. 11 (No. 2), p. 81, 1996


Through kind support from the European Community Action Program in Education and Training for Technology (COMETT) communicated through CATT, Austria, a Seminar on Event-Related Neuro-Images and Neurodynamics has been arranged between the 14th and 16th of June, 1995 in Salzburg, Austria. This issue contains selected papers from a number of presentations given during the Seminar. The pervasive themes of the meeting involved reflections on how the brain models the world creating images, patterns and shapes from the spatio-temporal layout of the neural code.
Attempts to unshed the neural code roughly divide into two main streams: correlating physio-anatomical findings with behaviour and relating the structure of neurophysical models to brain processes. Also the present contributions may be seen from these two perspectives. N. BURGESS et al. provide spatial and temporal correlates of hippocampal cell firing with respect to neural phase changes during the animals navigational behaviour. This work offers impressive images that result from mapping the firing rate of single (place-) cells onto real world coordinates during behaviour. M. A. JONES and V. P. BINGMAN relate predictions from a backpropagating neural network to the ability of homing pigeons to navigate with the help of familiar landmarks. Their findings are suggestive for geometrical rules imposing the polarization of space that facilitates spatial learning.
The two remaining papers introduce a neurophysical view of basic and high-level neural processes discussing the nature of neural coding. A. STERN introduces a brain theory based on fractal quantum mechanics and proposes a hypothesis that addresses the isospin invariant oxygen atom as a possible carrier of an intelligence code. Finally, G. BERNROIDER et al. consider neural coding from the view of an electrodynamic perturbation problem. Their results suggest how time-correlated neural ensemble activities can be deduced from the time-resolved stimulus response of single units.
It is hoped that the present reflections on how the brain composes form and pattern by creating mental representations from visual percepts may contribute to the objectives of FORMA to promote the understanding and analysis of FORM. Just as neural coding requires the comprehension of space and time, pattern and form as spatial constraints may require the comprehension of neural coding.

Gustav Bernroider
University of Salzburg, Institute of Zoology,
A-5020 Salzburg, Austria