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UNDERSTANDING THE NEURO-MATHS CONNECT

Chennai, December 19, 2019:Loyola College’s PG & Research Department of Mathematics today hosted the 9th R. P. Ranga Endowment lecture in honor of Mr. R. P. Ranga, an eminent alumnus of Department of Mathematics, who completed his Mathematics Honoursdegree from Loyola College between 1934 and 1939. The lecture onNeuroscience – Mathematics connect’ was delivered by Prof. V.S. Ramachandran.

Prof. Vilayanur S. Ramachandran is an alumnus of Loyola College Chennai; Stanley Medical College Chennai and Trinity College, Cambridge, UK. He is currently a Distinguished Professor at the University of California, San Diego in the Psychology Department and the Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition.Professor Ramachandran has authored popular books like Phantoms in the Brain (1998), The Tell-Tale Brain (2010), he has also given the BBC’s Reith Memorial lectures and TED Talks on developments in Neuroscience to a variety of fields.

In his talk, Prof. Ramachandran stressed on the need for the emergence of Mathematical Neuroscience, which is beyond just computation and simulation.

He went on to elaborate about Mathematical Neuroscience (also known as theoretical neuroscience or computational neuroscience) being a branch of neuroscience which employs mathematical models, theoretical analysis and abstractions of the brain to understand the principles that govern the development, structure, physiology and cognitive abilities of the nervous system.

He also spoke about three kinds of applications of neuroscience to mathematics education…

§  Neurounderstanding being the thought that neuroscience is creating knowledge on how people obtain mathematical skills and how this learning is reflected at the biological level

§  Neuroprediction dealing with the potential of neuroimaging data to predict future mathematical skill attainment and response to educational interventions

§  Neurointerventionbeing about how brain imaging data has been used to ground interventions targeted at mathematics learning and how education shapes the neural circuitry that underlies school-taught mathematics

Present for the lecture were Research Scholars, PG students and Professors in Mathematics from Loyola Collegeand other city colleges.

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