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ANC Workshop: Grant Robertson and Richard Shillcock, Chair: Matthias Hennig

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  • ANC Workshop Talk
When Feb 07, 2017
from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Where IF 4.31/4.33
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Grant Robertson


“Community Detection in the Synaptic Proteome”


Synapses are responsible for signal transduction an neural plasticity in the brain. Genetic mutations in the synaptic proteome are responsible for over 100 brain disorders. The synaptic proteome is a complex structure formed from the interactions of thousands of constituent proteins.


The proteome can be represented as a network where the vertices are proteins or the genes that encode them, and edges occur between proteins that interact. Communities are large scale structures within a network representing subnetworks with dense interconnections. Previous studies have shown an association between structural communities found in parts of the synaptic proteome and particular molecular functions or disorders1.


The Armstrong group has curated a database of synaptic protein-protein interactions for which  direct experimental evidence exists. In this talk I will discuss community detection in the synaptic proteome and how these communities can be used to better understand the genetics of disorders that affect the synapse.




1 Pocklington, A.J., Cumiskey, M., Armstrong, J.D. and Grant, S.G., 2006. The proteomes of neurotransmitter receptor complexes form modular networks with distributed functionality underlying plasticity and behaviour. Molecular systems biology, 2(1).

Richard Shillcock

"Understanding reading; Re-thinking the role of vergence movements in reading"

I will describe current work with eye-movement data from the reading of Chinese and English. Vergence movements are when the eyes converge or diverge to look at nearer or farther planes. Most researchers see vergence movements in terms of the reader attempting to move the fixation points of the two eyes to be within a very small distance of each other (Panum’s Fusional Area) so as to avoid diplopia (double vision). I will describe an alternative explanation whereby the visual system is very literally zooming in on the text in order to devote a greater area of visual cortex to the immediate visual task in that fixation. I will locate this explanation within a wider theory of binocular vision, illustrating it with differences from the reading behaviours of English and Chinese speakers. I will situate this concentration on the materiality of the processing (e.g. physical area of the visual cortex, reality of two eyes in reading) within the direction that Psychology has taken over the last century and where it should be going.


[This is work with Y-ting Hsiao, Mateo Obregón, Matthew Roberts, Hamutal Kreiner and Scott McDonald]