Conference

Lecture Series Freiburg "How brains add vectors" by Gaby Maimon

November 3, 2021

Freiburg (online) (Germany)

PROGRAM

in the framework of the NEUROSCIENCE & NEUROTECHNOLOGY LECTURE SERIES

 

Gaby Maimon - The Rockefeller University, New York, USA

 

How brains add vectors

Abstract

Many cognitive computations rely on the nervous system estimating mathematical vectors, but aside from computer models, how brains represent vectors or perform vector operations remains unknown. In this talk, I will describe how the fruit fly brain performs vector arithmetic. Specifically, I will show that flies have a neural signal that tracks the direction in which their body is traveling in reference to external cues, like the sun. By combining this newly discovered traveling-direction signal with traveling speed, and integrating these signals over time, it becomes sensible to imagine what a spatial memory looks like in the fly brain.

I will then provide evidence that this external-world referenced traveling direction signal is constructed via a neural circuit that rotates, scales and adds four two-dimensional vectors. Each vector is explicitly represented by a sinusoidal activity pattern across a distinct neuronal population, with the sinusoid's amplitude representing the vector's length and its phase representing the vector's angle. The central features of this vector calculator inside the insect brain may generalize to other nervous systems and other cognitive domains beyond navigation where vector operations are required.

Further info: here

 

DATES AND VENUE

Nov. 3, 2021
from 02:15 PM to 03:30 PM

Zoom meeting - Duration of the talk: Duration of the talk: Approx. 50 minutes, then general and specialized discussion.

You can send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for meeting ID and password.

Contact & Details : here

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