March 23, 2011

“I Am My Connectome”: TED Talk given by Sebastian Seung

In this TED talk Sebastian Seung, Professor of Computational Neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Department of Physics at MIT, discusses the “connectome” – the connections formed between neurons – and its possible role in consciousness. Dr. Seung highlights neuroscientists’ belief that neural activity is the physical basis of thoughts, feelings and perceptions and discusses the relation between neural activity and the connectome: neural activity travels through a connectome, but at the same time, these connections can grow and be modified by neural activity and experience. As Dr. Seung put it “the connectome is where nature meets nurture”.

This is a TED talk (about 20 mins) you don’t want to miss! Click here to watch the talk.

1 Comment »

  1. Compare Sebastian Seung’s vision of the *connectome* with the structure and dynamics of the *synaptic matrix* in The Cognitive Brain (TCB), MIT Press 1991. See, for example, TCB, Ch. 3, “Learning, Imagery, Tokens, and Types: The Synaptic Matrix”, here:

    http://people.umass.edu/trehub/thecognitivebrain/chapter3.pdf

    and TCB, Ch. 12, “Self-Directed Learning in a Complex Environment”, here:

    http://www.people.umass.edu/trehub/thecognitivebrain/chapter12.pdf

    It seems to me that the vast search space in Seung’s research program could be significantly narrowed by the guidance of model neuronal mechanisms that have been shown to be competent for significant cognitive processes.

    Comment by trehub — March 28, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

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