abstract Kevin Gurney

Kevin Gurney (University of Sheffield)

Modeling the basal ganglia at multiple levels of description: from membranes and circuits to systems and robots

Models may describe different levels of structural description in the brain: from intracellular signaling, through neurons and local microcircuits, to entire brain systems and behaving agents. What is the relationship between models at these different levels, and what have they each to offer? Answering this will require an understanding of the relation between the notions of 'computation', 'algorithm', 'mechanism', and 'biological substrate'. I will discuss these issues in relation to the basal ganglia (and associated circuits) and, in particular, in the context of the hypothesis that these systems are performing computations for action selection.