Chris Eliasmith, Director of the Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience, received the prestigious John C. Polanyi Award and is also an inaugural member of the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists.
Join us for a talk by Randy McIntosh of the Baycrest Centre.
"Flow and manifolds in cognition and neural networks"
Our experience is elaborate, where our perceptions are embellished by memories and emotions, and driven by predictions. We have developed a quantitative framework that makes the explicit link between the elaborate temporal evolution of the brain networks and the accompanying evolution of the mental streams. We posit that the coordination underlying experience can be understood by considering neural processes as flows depicting system interactions. The flows occur on relatively low-dimensional manifolds, which constrain the landscape of possible functional configurations – Structured Flows on Manifolds (SFM). The attraction of the SFM framework is that the same mathematical formulation can be used to quantify the flows and manifolds for the cognitive architecture as for the neural dynamics. The potential for new configurations reflects the adaptive nature of the brain and higher cognitive function. This “hidden repertoire” is at the heart of what makes our experiences special, where the richness comes precisely because of what is happening and also of what possibly could happen.