Associate Professor Timothy Horiuchi Institute for Systems Research and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Abstract The areas of the mammalian brain selectively involved in spatial memory of the environment (e.g., hippocampus) have been heavily studied primarily in rats. Most prominently, 'place cells', 'grid cells', and 'head-direction cells' have been discovered that appear to maintain and update an animal's sense of location in the environment. Nearly all of these experiments have been performed in 2D environments, raising the question of what will be found in a flying animal such as a bat. Will there be 3D representations of space? Recent experimental evidence is suggesting that a new computational model is needed to explain the results found in the bat. In this presentation, I will discuss some of the known features of underlying biological structures, current computational models, and describe our laboratory's efforts to develop neuromorphic VLSI implementations of the bat's spatial memory system and understand its role in navigation.
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