Flip Sabes
Keck Center for Integrative Neuroscience and the Department of Physiology, UCSF

Sensory integration and adaptation: behavior, optimality, and neural models

Wednesday 03rd of October 2007 at 12:00pm
508-20 Evans Hall

When planning and executing movement, the brain takes into account information from multiple ("redundant") sensory streams . For example, both vision and proprioception are used to localized the hand before a reaching movement. This ability relies on two experimentally observed processes. First, these sensory signals must be integrated, e.g. a "consensus" position estimate is computed. Second, when sensory signals conflict, sensory adaptation occurs to bring the signals back into alignment. I will show that these two processes are linked in a statistically optimal manner. I will present human behavioral experiments illustrating how the brain solves these problems and an "optimal estimator" algorithm that can account for the experimental results. I will then show that this algorithm can be implemented by a fairly simple a network model, which we propose as a model of sensorimotor areas in human parietal cortex.

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