How are appropriately functioning neural systems built during development? I will present some of our recent computational and experimental work addressing this question. This includes (i) modeling how growing nerve fibres make pathfinding decisions, (ii) using methods from graph theory, information theory and latent variable analysis to understand how patterns of neural activity develop and how these link to behavior, and (iii) new technologies for recording and analysing neural activity in freely-behaving and sleeping animals at whole-brain scale and single-neuron resolution
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