The Mathematics and Mechanics of the Brain: from Axon to Organ, from Morphogenesis to Trauma.

Prof Alain Goriely (University of Oxford)

Thursday 4th May, 2017 14:00-15:00 109 Main Lecture Theatre, Gregory Building


(Lunch with the speaker will be at One A The Square, leaving from the school front foyer at 12.45.)

The human brain is an organ of extreme complexity, the object of ultimate intellectual egocentrism, and a source of endless scientific challenges.  Despite a clear evidence that mechanical factors play an important role in regulating brain activity, current research efforts focus mainly on the biochemical or electrophysiological activity of the brain.  However, classical concepts from mechanics including deformations, stretch, strain, strain rate, pressure, and stress also play a crucial role in both shaping the brain and  modulating its functions.  In this talk, I will review our current understanding of the brain and present several important mechanical problems and mathematical models related to brain geometry, proper brain function, and brain pathology and trauma. In particular, I will present simple models for brain oedema formation and propagation, a dangerous consequence of traumatic brain injury. 

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