@phdthesis{6363,
abstract = {Distinguishing between similar experiences is achieved by the brain in a process called pattern separation. In the hippocampus, pattern separation reduces the interference of memories and increases the storage capacity by decorrelating similar inputs patterns of neuronal activity into non-overlapping output firing patterns. Winners-take-all (WTA) mechanism is a theoretical model for pattern separation in which a "winner" cell suppresses the activity of the neighboring neurons through feedback inhibition. However, if the network properties of the dentate gyrus support WTA as a biologically conceivable model remains unknown. Here, we showed that the connectivity rules of PV+interneurons and their synaptic properties are optimizedfor efficient pattern separation. We found using multiple whole-cell in vitrorecordings that PV+interneurons mainly connect to granule cells (GC) through lateral inhibition, a form of feedback inhibition in which a GC inhibits other GCs but not itself through the activation of PV+interneurons. Thus, lateral inhibition between GC–PV+interneurons was ~10 times more abundant than recurrent connections. Furthermore, the GC–PV+interneuron connectivity was more spatially confined but less abundant than PV+interneurons–GC connectivity, leading to an asymmetrical distribution of excitatory and inhibitory connectivity. Our network model of the dentate gyrus with incorporated real connectivity rules efficiently decorrelates neuronal activity patterns using WTA as the primary mechanism. This process relied on lateral inhibition, fast-signaling properties of PV+interneurons and the asymmetrical distribution of excitatory and inhibitory connectivity. Finally, we found that silencing the activity of PV+interneurons in vivoleads to acute deficits in discrimination between similar environments, suggesting that PV+interneuron networks are necessary for behavioral relevant computations. Our results demonstrate that PV+interneurons possess unique connectivity and fast signaling properties that confer to the dentate gyrus network properties that allow the emergence of pattern separation. Thus, our results contribute to the knowledge of how specific forms of network organization underlie sophisticated types of information processing.
},
author = {Espinoza Martinez, Claudia M},
isbn = {978-3-99078-000-8},
issn = {2663-337X},
pages = {140},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Parvalbumin+ interneurons enable efficient pattern separation in hippocampal microcircuits}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:6363},
year = {2019},
}
@phdthesis{7132,
abstract = {A major challenge in neuroscience research is to dissect the circuits that orchestrate behavior in health and disease. Proteins from a wide range of non-mammalian species, such as microbial opsins, have been successfully transplanted to specific neuronal targets to override their natural communication patterns. The goal of our work is to manipulate synaptic communication in a manner that closely incorporates the functional intricacies of synapses by preserving temporal encoding (i.e. the firing pattern of the presynaptic neuron) and connectivity (i.e. target specific synapses rather than specific neurons). Our strategy to achieve this goal builds on the use of non-mammalian transplants to create a synthetic synapse. The mode of modulation comes from pre-synaptic uptake of a synthetic neurotransmitter (SN) into synaptic vesicles by means of a genetically targeted transporter selective for the SN. Upon natural vesicular release, exposure of the SN to the synaptic cleft will modify the post-synaptic potential through an orthogonal ligand gated ion channel. To achieve this goal we have functionally characterized a mixed cationic methionine-gated ion channel from Arabidopsis thaliana, designed a method to functionally characterize a synthetic transporter in isolated synaptic vesicles without the need for transgenic animals, identified and extracted multiple prokaryotic uptake systems that are substrate specific for methionine (Met), and established a primary/cell line co-culture system that would allow future combinatorial testing of this orthogonal transmitter-transporter-channel trifecta.
Synthetic synapses will provide a unique opportunity to manipulate synaptic communication while maintaining the electrophysiological integrity of the pre-synaptic cell. In this way, information may be preserved that was generated in upstream circuits and that could be essential for concerted function and information processing.},
author = {Mckenzie, Catherine},
issn = {2663-337X},
pages = {95},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Design and characterization of methods and biological components to realize synthetic neurotransmission}},
doi = {10.15479/at:ista:7132},
year = {2019},
}
@phdthesis{6825,
abstract = {The solving of complex tasks requires the functions of more than one brain area and their interaction. Whilst spatial navigation and memory is dependent on the hippocampus, flexible behavior relies on the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). To further examine the roles of the hippocampus and mPFC, we recorded their neural activity during a task that depends on both of these brain regions.
With tetrodes, we recorded the extracellular activity of dorsal hippocampal CA1 (HPC) and mPFC neurons in Long-Evans rats performing a rule-switching task on the plus-maze. The plus-maze task had a spatial component since it required navigation along one of the two start arms and at the maze center a choice between one of the two goal arms. Which goal contained a reward depended on the rule currently in place. After an uncued rule change the animal had to abandon the old strategy and switch to the new rule, testing cognitive flexibility. Investigating the coordination of activity between the HPC and mPFC allows determination during which task stages their interaction is required. Additionally, comparing neural activity patterns in these two brain regions allows delineation of the specialized functions of the HPC and mPFC in this task. We analyzed neural activity in the HPC and mPFC in terms of oscillatory interactions, rule coding and replay.
We found that theta coherence between the HPC and mPFC is increased at the center and goals of the maze, both when the rule was stable or has changed. Similar results were found for locking of HPC and mPFC neurons to HPC theta oscillations. However, no differences in HPC-mPFC theta coordination were observed between the spatially- and cue-guided rule. Phase locking of HPC and mPFC neurons to HPC gamma oscillations was not modulated by
maze position or rule type. We found that the HPC coded for the two different rules with cofiring relationships between
cell pairs. However, we could not find conclusive evidence for rule coding in the mPFC. Spatially-selective firing in the mPFC generalized between the two start and two goal arms. With Bayesian positional decoding, we found that the mPFC reactivated non-local positions during awake immobility periods. Replay of these non-local positions could represent entire behavioral trajectories resembling trajectory replay of the HPC. Furthermore, mPFC
trajectory-replay at the goal positively correlated with rule-switching performance.
Finally, HPC and mPFC trajectory replay occurred independently of each other. These results show that the mPFC can replay ordered patterns of activity during awake immobility, possibly underlying its role in flexible behavior. },
author = {Käfer, Karola},
issn = {2663-337X},
pages = {89},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{The hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex during flexible behavior}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:6825},
year = {2019},
}
@phdthesis{278,
abstract = {Consortial subscription contracts regulate the digital access to publications between publishers and scientific libraries. However, since a couple of years the tendency towards a freely accessible publishing (Open Access) intensifies. As a consequence of this trend the contractual relationship between licensor and licensee is gradually changing as well: More and more contracts exercise influence on open access publishing. The present study attempts to compare Austrian examples of consortial licence contracts, which include components of open access. It describes the difference between pure subscription contracts and differing innovative deals including open access components. Thereby it becomes obvious that for the evaluation of this licence contracts new methods are needed. An essential new element of such analyses is the evaluation of the open access publication numbers. So this study tries to carry out such publication analyses for Austrian open access deals focusing on quantitative questions: How does the number of publications evolve? How does the open access share change? Publications reports of the publishers and database queries from Scopus form the data basis. The analysis of the data points out that differing approaches of contracts result in highly divergent results: Particular deals can prioritize a saving in costs or else the increase of the open access rate. It is to be assumed that within the following years further numerous open access deals will be negotiated. The finding of this study shall provide guidance.},
author = {Villányi, Márton},
pages = {94},
publisher = {Universität Wien},
title = {{Lizenzverträge mit Open-Access-Komponenten an österreichischen Bibliotheken}},
year = {2018},
}
@phdthesis{83,
abstract = {A proof system is a protocol between a prover and a verifier over a common input in which an honest prover convinces the verifier of the validity of true statements. Motivated by the success of decentralized cryptocurrencies, exemplified by Bitcoin, the focus of this thesis will be on proof systems which found applications in some sustainable alternatives to Bitcoin, such as the Spacemint and Chia cryptocurrencies. In particular, we focus on proofs of space and proofs of sequential work.
Proofs of space (PoSpace) were suggested as more ecological, economical, and egalitarian alternative to the energy-wasteful proof-of-work mining of Bitcoin. However, the state-of-the-art constructions of PoSpace are based on sophisticated graph pebbling lower bounds, and are therefore complex. Moreover, when these PoSpace are used in cryptocurrencies like Spacemint, miners can only start mining after ensuring that a commitment to their space is already added in a special transaction to the blockchain. Proofs of sequential work (PoSW) are proof systems in which a prover, upon receiving a statement x and a time parameter T, computes a proof which convinces the verifier that T time units had passed since x was received. Whereas Spacemint assumes synchrony to retain some interesting Bitcoin dynamics, Chia requires PoSW with unique proofs, i.e., PoSW in which it is hard to come up with more than one accepting proof for any true statement. In this thesis we construct simple and practically-efficient PoSpace and PoSW. When using our PoSpace in cryptocurrencies, miners can start mining on the fly, like in Bitcoin, and unlike current constructions of PoSW, which either achieve efficient verification of sequential work, or faster-than-recomputing verification of correctness of proofs, but not both at the same time, ours achieve the best of these two worlds.},
author = {Abusalah, Hamza M},
pages = {59},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Proof systems for sustainable decentralized cryptocurrencies}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:TH_1046},
year = {2018},
}
@phdthesis{197,
abstract = {Modern computer vision systems heavily rely on statistical machine learning models, which typically require large amounts of labeled data to be learned reliably. Moreover, very recently computer vision research widely adopted techniques for representation learning, which further increase the demand for labeled data. However, for many important practical problems there is relatively small amount of labeled data available, so it is problematic to leverage full potential of the representation learning methods. One way to overcome this obstacle is to invest substantial resources into producing large labelled datasets. Unfortunately, this can be prohibitively expensive in practice. In this thesis we focus on the alternative way of tackling the aforementioned issue. We concentrate on methods, which make use of weakly-labeled or even unlabeled data. Specifically, the first half of the thesis is dedicated to the semantic image segmentation task. We develop a technique, which achieves competitive segmentation performance and only requires annotations in a form of global image-level labels instead of dense segmentation masks. Subsequently, we present a new methodology, which further improves segmentation performance by leveraging tiny additional feedback from a human annotator. By using our methods practitioners can greatly reduce the amount of data annotation effort, which is required to learn modern image segmentation models. In the second half of the thesis we focus on methods for learning from unlabeled visual data. We study a family of autoregressive models for modeling structure of natural images and discuss potential applications of these models. Moreover, we conduct in-depth study of one of these applications, where we develop the state-of-the-art model for the probabilistic image colorization task.},
author = {Kolesnikov, Alexander},
pages = {113},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Weakly-Supervised Segmentation and Unsupervised Modeling of Natural Images}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:th_1021},
year = {2018},
}
@phdthesis{200,
abstract = {This thesis is concerned with the inference of current population structure based on geo-referenced genetic data. The underlying idea is that population structure affects its spatial genetic structure. Therefore, genotype information can be utilized to estimate important demographic parameters such as migration rates. These indirect estimates of population structure have become very attractive, as genotype data is now widely available. However, there also has been much concern about these approaches. Importantly, genetic structure can be influenced by many complex patterns, which often cannot be disentangled. Moreover, many methods merely fit heuristic patterns of genetic structure, and do not build upon population genetics theory. Here, I describe two novel inference methods that address these shortcomings. In Chapter 2, I introduce an inference scheme based on a new type of signal, identity by descent (IBD) blocks. Recently, it has become feasible to detect such long blocks of genome shared between pairs of samples. These blocks are direct traces of recent coalescence events. As such, they contain ample signal for inferring recent demography. I examine sharing of IBD blocks in two-dimensional populations with local migration. Using a diffusion approximation, I derive formulas for an isolation by distance pattern of long IBD blocks and show that sharing of long IBD blocks approaches rapid exponential decay for growing sample distance. I describe an inference scheme based on these results. It can robustly estimate the dispersal rate and population density, which is demonstrated on simulated data. I also show an application to estimate mean migration and the rate of recent population growth within Eastern Europe. Chapter 3 is about a novel method to estimate barriers to gene flow in a two dimensional population. This inference scheme utilizes geographically localized allele frequency fluctuations - a classical isolation by distance signal. The strength of these local fluctuations increases on average next to a barrier, and there is less correlation across it. I again use a framework of diffusion of ancestral lineages to model this effect, and provide an efficient numerical implementation to fit the results to geo-referenced biallelic SNP data. This inference scheme is able to robustly estimate strong barriers to gene flow, as tests on simulated data confirm.},
author = {Ringbauer, Harald},
pages = {146},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Inferring recent demography from spatial genetic structure}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:th_963},
year = {2018},
}
@phdthesis{201,
abstract = {We describe arrangements of three-dimensional spheres from a geometrical and topological point of view. Real data (fitting this setup) often consist of soft spheres which show certain degree of deformation while strongly packing against each other. In this context, we answer the following questions: If we model a soft packing of spheres by hard spheres that are allowed to overlap, can we measure the volume in the overlapped areas? Can we be more specific about the overlap volume, i.e. quantify how much volume is there covered exactly twice, three times, or k times? What would be a good optimization criteria that rule the arrangement of soft spheres while making a good use of the available space? Fixing a particular criterion, what would be the optimal sphere configuration? The first result of this thesis are short formulas for the computation of volumes covered by at least k of the balls. The formulas exploit information contained in the order-k Voronoi diagrams and its closely related Level-k complex. The used complexes lead to a natural generalization into poset diagrams, a theoretical formalism that contains the order-k and degree-k diagrams as special cases. In parallel, we define different criteria to determine what could be considered an optimal arrangement from a geometrical point of view. Fixing a criterion, we find optimal soft packing configurations in 2D and 3D where the ball centers lie on a lattice. As a last step, we use tools from computational topology on real physical data, to show the potentials of higher-order diagrams in the description of melting crystals. The results of the experiments leaves us with an open window to apply the theories developed in this thesis in real applications.},
author = {Iglesias Ham, Mabel},
pages = {171},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Multiple covers with balls}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:th_1026},
year = {2018},
}
@phdthesis{49,
abstract = {Nowadays, quantum computation is receiving more and more attention as an alternative to the classical way of computing. For realizing a quantum computer, different devices are investigated as potential quantum bits. In this thesis, the focus is on Ge hut wires, which turned out to be promising candidates for implementing hole spin quantum bits. The advantages of Ge as a material system are the low hyperfine interaction for holes and the strong spin orbit coupling, as well as the compatibility with the highly developed CMOS processes in industry. In addition, Ge can also be isotopically purified which is expected to boost the spin coherence times. The strong spin orbit interaction for holes in Ge on the one hand enables the full electrical control of the quantum bit and on the other hand should allow short spin manipulation times. Starting with a bare Si wafer, this work covers the entire process reaching from growth over the fabrication and characterization of hut wire devices up to the demonstration of hole spin resonance. From experiments with single quantum dots, a large g-factor anisotropy between the in-plane and the out-of-plane direction was found. A comparison to a theoretical model unveiled the heavy-hole character of the lowest energy states. The second part of the thesis addresses double quantum dot devices, which were realized by adding two gate electrodes to a hut wire. In such devices, Pauli spin blockade was observed, which can serve as a read-out mechanism for spin quantum bits. Applying oscillating electric fields in spin blockade allowed the demonstration of continuous spin rotations and the extraction of a lower bound for the spin dephasing time. Despite the strong spin orbit coupling in Ge, the obtained value for the dephasing time is comparable to what has been recently reported for holes in Si. All in all, the presented results point out the high potential of Ge hut wires as a platform for long-lived, fast and fully electrically tunable hole spin quantum bits.},
author = {Watzinger, Hannes},
pages = {77},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Ge hut wires - from growth to hole spin resonance}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:th_1033},
year = {2018},
}
@phdthesis{52,
abstract = {In this thesis we will discuss systems of point interacting fermions, their stability and other spectral properties. Whereas for bosons a point interacting system is always unstable this ques- tion is more subtle for a gas of two species of fermions. In particular the answer depends on the mass ratio between these two species. Most of this work will be focused on the N + M model which consists of two species of fermions with N, M particles respectively which interact via point interactions. We will introduce this model using a formal limit and discuss the N + 1 system in more detail. In particular, we will show that for mass ratios above a critical one, which does not depend on the particle number, the N + 1 system is stable. In the context of this model we will prove rigorous versions of Tan relations which relate various quantities of the point-interacting model. By restricting the N + 1 system to a box we define a finite density model with point in- teractions. In the context of this system we will discuss the energy change when introducing a point-interacting impurity into a system of non-interacting fermions. We will see that this change in energy is bounded independently of the particle number and in particular the bound only depends on the density and the scattering length. As another special case of the N + M model we will show stability of the 2 + 2 model for mass ratios in an interval around one. Further we will investigate a different model of point interactions which was discussed before in the literature and which is, contrary to the N + M model, not given by a limiting procedure but is based on a Dirichlet form. We will show that this system behaves trivially in the thermodynamic limit, i.e. the free energy per particle is the same as the one of the non-interacting system.},
author = {Moser, Thomas},
pages = {115},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Point interactions in systems of fermions}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:th_1043},
year = {2018},
}