Interdisciplinary Seminar in Nonlinear Science

Title: Collective Dynamics for Brain Decisions
Speaker: John J. Hopfield
Speaker Info: Princeton University
Brief Description:
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The network of nerve cells in a brain carries out computations through exploiting the dynamics of its electrical activity. A transient dynamical phase transition coordinating the activity of many neurons can represent and signal a 'decision' in the brain. This phase transition is related to the lasing transition of a set of radiating atoms. The phase transition can implement important algorithms that are part of the brain's computational resources. The use of such an algorithm will be illustrated in a designed 'neural' system that recognizes a spoken word independent of the speed at which the word is spoken. Such integration over a brief 'moment' is common to many perceptual systems.
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001
Time: 4:30PM
Where: Tech L211
Contact Person: Hermann Riecke
Contact email: h-riecke@northwestern.edu
Contact Phone: 847-491-8316
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