February Fourier Talks 2007
Keynote Address: Steven Schiff
Spatiotemporal Pattern Formation and Control in the Brain
The spatiotemporal structure of brain oscillations are important in
understanding neural function. We analyze oscillatory episodes from
isotropic preparations from the middle layers of mammalian cortex which
display irregular and chaotic spatiotemporal wave activity, within which
spontaneously emerge spiral and plane waves. We seek to control such
dynamics, and are constructing combinations of fundamental and empirical
state space representations of these dynamics in order to create a
model-based framework for optimized control.
Steven J. Schiff recently joined Pennsylvania State University
as Professor of Neurosurgery in the College of Medicine (Milton Hershey Medical
Center) and Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics and Brush Chair
Professor of Engineering.
Dr. Schiff’s research interests focus on understanding
pathological dynamics in the brain in terms of the underlying physics, and
how technology based on this understanding can treat diseases such as epilepsy,
Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and chronic pain.
Prior to joining Penn State, Dr. Schiff was Professor of Neurobiology, Professor
of Psychology and Chief of the Neural Dynamics Laboratory at The George Mason
University. He is a past attending neurosurgeon, Associate Director of the Center
for Neuroscience and Behavioral Medicine, and co-director of the Epilepsy Surgery
Program at the Children’s Research Institute. Dr. Schiff is a Fellow of
the American Physical Society and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
He is listed in the Guide to America’s Top Physicians, serves as the Divisional
Associate Editor (Biological Physics) for Physical Review Letters, as an Advisory
Editor for the Elsevier Book Series “Nonlinear Science and Complexity” and
on the Editorial Board of Physical Review E, is an eminent scholar in the State
of Virginia, and has recently organized symposia for the American Epilepsy Society
and the Industrial and Applied Mathematics Dynamical Systems Conferences. He
holds five patents and is a highly sought speaker.
Dr. Schiff, along with Dr. Bruce J. Gluckman, also of Penn State,
is responsible for developing research, education and service collaboration
among the Departments of Neurosurgery and Engineering Science and Mechanics,
The Colleges of Engineering and Medicine, the Materials Research Institute and
the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. Dr. Schiff holds a Ph.D. from the Department
of Physiology; Duke University Medical Center, and an M.D. from Duke University
School of Medicine.