UBC Math Biology Seminar: Manu Madhav

  • Date: 06/23/2021
  • Time: 14:00
Manu Madhav, UBC School of Biomedical Engineering



Navigation through Flexibility of Cognitive Representations


Abstract: Navigation is the determination of courses – the
computation and subsequent action of getting from point A to point B.
When the brain navigates, in what space are these points represented? In
this talk, I will present our current understanding of the cognitive
map – the so-called ‘GPS of the brain’ – and point to recent research
that indicates that this representation of space, time and memory may be
embedded in a flexible coordinate system that is shaped by experience
and adapts to task demands. My lab will use techniques from virtual
reality, high-density electrophysiology, control theory, reinforcement
learning and robotics to investigate the role of flexible cognitive
representations in shaping navigational decisions. By comparing
navigation between rats, humans and robots, we seek to develop assays of
cognitive flexibility that may help detection and management of
neurodegenerative dementias.

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