15 November 2016
CML Colloquium: Topographic Maps in the Brain and its Models
Tuesday 15 November 2016, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Thursday 17 November 2016, Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University
Cornelius Weber, University of Hamburg
Abstract: Topographic maps are ubiquitous in the brain, such as in visual, lower auditory, somatosensory and somatomotor cortices. Kohonen's self-organizing maps are a popular class of artificial neural networks, in which topography arises because neighbouring neurons respond and adapt to the same input stimuli. Another principle that leads to topographic ordering is that the brain tries to minimize the total volume of neural connections. Such wiring length minimisation has been proposed to lead to cortical folding on the large scale; on a smaller scale, minimization of horizontal connections within a neural layer can explain topograpic order and other fine structure observed in primate primary visual cortex (V1). This has implications for horizontal neural connections and recurrent computations within cortical areas. Finally, examples of neural topographic map models used for robot navigation will be presented.