Dynamics of Memory Retrieval in Human Hippocampus

May 05, 2023, Online

Wulfram Gerstner


In this talk I will talk about modeling work that aims to bring together three streams of research: (i) Theoretical research starting with the Hopfield model and attractor dynamics; (ii) The experimental work of engram research in rodent hippocampus; (iii) Concept cells (not just the 'Jennifer Aniston-neuron', but for many people, places, objects) found by R. Quiroga and colleagues in human hippocampus. One specific question that has puzzled researchers for a long time is how associated concepts are stored, and retrieved in the brain. If you meet your friend Roger by chance in the opera in Sidney, the person and the place will become associated; intuitively, this means that if you think of Roger you MAY also think of Sidney (and vice versa), but the friend and place are not fused into a single concept. The talk is based on joint work with Chiara Gastaldi, Tilo Schwalger, Emanuela De Falco and Rodrigo Q. Quiroga [1]

Speaker's Bio

Wulfram Gerstner is Director of the Laboratory of Computational Neuroscience LCN at the EPFL. He studied physics at the universities of Tubingen and Munich and received a PhD from the Technical University of Munich. His research in computational neuroscience concentrates on models of spiking neurons, the dynamics of spiking neural networks and spike-timing dependent plasticity. More recently, he got interested in generalizations of Hebbian learning in the form of multi-factor learning rules and in the role of surprise for learning. He currently has a joint appointment at the School of Life Sciences and the School of Computer and Communications Sciences at the EPFL. He teaches courses for Physicists, Computer Scientists, Mathematicians, and Life Scientists. He is the recipient of the Valentino Braitenberg Award for Computational Neuroscience 2018 and a member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz (Germany).