How Neurons Compute ‘Reality’ : Lessons from Virtual Reality

Speaker: Mayank R. Mehta
Affiliation: UCLA

Abstract:  With the resurgence of AI, deep nets and virtual reality a fundamental question remains unresolved: How do neurons compute? How does the brain learn and generate abstract thoughts? How do neuronal networks create the perception of reality? These are some the greatest unsolved mysteries. While the answers have remained elusive, recent advances suggest that we might be able to make substantial progress within the next few decades. I will describe some of our recent efforts to address these questions. We measure the responses of many individual neurons during natural behavior and during exploration of virtual reality. We develop mathematical theories to decipher the underlying mechanisms. The results are quite surprising.

Biography:  Prof. Mayank Mehta did PhD in quantum field theory and postdoctoral studies in systems and computational neuroscience. His laboratory investigates how the mind emerges from the brain, using techniques from biology, engineering, mathematics and physics.  They measure the activities of hundreds of individual neurons while subjects explore the real world or virtual reality. Using this they investigate how neuronal dynamics during behavior and sleep generates learning and memory, and creates the perception of abstract ideas such as space and time.

For more information, contact Prof. Suhas Diggavi ()


Date(s) - Oct 23, 2017
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

EE-IV Shannon Room #54-134
420 Westwood Plaza - 5th Flr., Los Angeles CA 90095