Los Alamos National Laboratory
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Michael I. Ham
Michael I. Ham


Michael I. Ham

Los Alamos National Laboratory Theoretical Division
Mathematical Modeling and Analysis, T-7
Center for Nonlinear Studies
Mail Stop B284
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Phone: +1.505.606.0220
Fax: +1.505.665.5757
Email: mih0001@t7.lanl.gov


Neural Network Modeling

My current research focuses on identifying trends in data recorded from in vitro neural networks. This work is a collaboration between Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Center for Network Neuroscience. So far, we have analyzed empirical data using information theory (Bettencourt et al., 2007) and network features (Ham et al., 2007). Our present goal is to combine these two ideas in order to clarify network organizational structures.


My research is based on experiments I performed at CNNS. This data is of utmost importance for deriving neural mechanisms and modeling them. My experiments fall in three categories.

1) Native activity: recording the natural activity of a culture for many hours in order to establish a baseline of activity. Data from this type of recording was used in Bettencourt et al. (2007) and Ham et al. (2007)

2) Pharmacological manipulation: adding drugs, such as bicuculline which lowers inhibition, to study the effect they have on native activity. We used this information in Ham et al. (2007) where we show that major burst leaders are effected by the loss of inhibitory connections.

3) Electrical stimulation: studying the response of neural networks to electrical pulses. Such studies have the potential to unlock the mystery of how to successfully communicate with a neuronal network in vitro

Click here to see what it takes to set up an experiment at CNNS.

Neural network growing in vitro. Photo courtesy CNNS.


My research is based on experiments performed at the Center for Network Neuroscience (CNNS) located at the University of North Texas. CNNS has the notable distinction of being a self sufficient laboratory. Microelectrode arrays and neural networks are created in house, and four recording stations are available for performing experiments.

Though I work at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and perform my research at CNNS, I am actually a PhD track physics student with the University of North Texas Physics Program.


Ham MI, Bettencourt LMA, McDaniel FD, Gross GW (submitted for publication) Spontaneous coordinated activity in cultured networks: analysis of multiple ignition sites, primary circuits, and burst phase delay distributions.

Bettencourt LMA, Stephens GJ, Ham MI, Gross GW (2007) The functional structure of cortical neuronal networks grown in vitro. Phys Rev E 75, 021915 Click here for abstract

Other Interests

Neuralwiki.org: my personal website and a continual work in progress. I designed it as a resource for scientists who are exploring neural networks and neuronal interaction.

Last modified: Thu Aug 9 16:34:19 MDT 2007