|Evening Public Lecture (8:00 PM
on Monday, April 7, 2008)
Hewlett Bldg., Rm. 200
"Remembering the Future, Predicting the Past"
An important function of memory is to provide information for predicting the future outcomes of our actions. At a basic cellular level, neural circuits are capable of extracting causal links and generating activity that is predictive of future events. How do low-level cellular processes work together to store, retain and recall memories, allowing us to remember and predict? These questions are the focus of intense experimental and theoretical research. I will review recent results and discuss a number of ideas illustrated by computer simulations of memory function and prediction.
|Afternoon Colloquium (4:15 PM on
Tuesday, April 8, 2008)
Hewlett Bldg., Rm. 201
"Who's Afraid of Chaotic Networks? Models of Sensory and Motor Processing
in the Face of Spontaneous Neuronal Activity"
Large, strongly coupled neural networks tend to produce chaotic spontaneous activity. This might appear to make them unsuitable for generating reliable sensory responses or repeatable motor patterns. However, this is not the case. Inputs can induce a phase transition, leading to responses uncontaminated by chaotic "noise". Likewise, appropriately trained feedback units can control the chaos, resulting in a wide variety of repeatable output patterns. These issues will be discussed accompanied by examples and demonstrations.
Hofstadter, winner of the 1961
Nobel Prize, was one of the principal scientists who
developed the Compton Observatory.
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