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The Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience of Categorization, Novelty-Detec...

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Google Tech TalksNovember, 15 2007ABSTRACTNeurocomputational models provide fundamental insights towardsunderstanding the human brain circuits for learning new associationsand organizing our world into appropriate categories. In this talk Iwill review the information-processing functions of four interactingbrain systems for learning and categorization:(1) the basal ganglia which incrementally adjusts choice behaviors using environmentalfeedback about the consequences of our actions,(2) the hippocampus which supports learning in other brain regions through the creation ofnew stimulus representations (and, hence, new similarityrelationships) that reflect important statistical regularities in theenvironment,(3) the medial septum which works in a feedback-loop withthe hippocampus, using novelty-detection to alter the rate at whichstimulus representations are updated through experience,(4) the frontal lobes which provide for selective attention and executivecontrol of learning and memory.The computational models to be described have been evaluated through a variety of empiricalmethodoligies including human functional brain imaging, studies ofpatients with localized brain damage due to injury or early-stageneurodegenerative diseases, behavioral genetic studies ofnaturally-occuring individual variability, as well as comparativelesion and genetic studies with rodents. Our applications of thesemodels to engineering and computer science including automated anomalydetection systems for mechanical fault diagnosis on US Navyhelicopters and submarines as well more recent contributions to theDoD's DARPA program for Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures(BICA).Speaker: Dr. Mark GluckMark Gluck is a Professor of Neuroscience at Rutgers University - Newark, co-director of the Rutgers Memory Disorders Project, and publisher of the public health newsletter, Memory Loss and the Brain. He works at the interface between neuroscience, psychology, and computer science, where his research focuses on the neural bases of learning and memory, and the consequences of memory loss due to aging, trauma, and disease. He is the co-author of "Gateway to Memory: An Introduction to Neural Network Models of the Hippocampus and Memory " (MIT Press, 2001) and a forthcoming undergraduate textbook, "Learning and Memory: From Brain to Behavior." He has edited several other books and has published over 60 scientific journal articles. His awards include the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contributions from the American Psychological Society and the Young Investigator Award for Cognitive and Neural Sciences from the Office of Naval Research. In 1996, he was awarded a NSF Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by President Bill Clinton. For more information, see

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