case western reserve university


Peter Thomas

Assistant Professor of
Mathematics, Biology,
and Cognitive Science

My research interests intersect cognitive science in the area of computational neuroscience. Using mathematical analysis and numerical simulation, I investigate the mechanisms by which information is gathered, represented and transformed in model systems that form the building blocks of natural cognition.  Examples include the generation and functional significance of reliable patterns of electrical discharge in nerve cells, the formation of ordered maps in the cerebral cortex, and mechanisms of biochemical signaling in the nervous system and in "simpler" organisms such as the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum.  My work in these areas is motivated in part by the larger questions of what it means for an organism to perceive, think and act. A long term goal of my research is to apply lessons learned in the study of more tractable model systems to shaping the conceptual foundations underlying investigations of cognition, broadly conceived.