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Juija Krupic Project

Supervisor:  Julija Krupic

Co supervisor:  Ole Paulsen 


Building a biologically inspired spatial cognitive map in artificial agents 

The hippocampal formation plays a key role in learning, spatial memory and navigation(1). Behavioural studies show that an animal can rapidly learn its environment and use hippocampal-dependent map-based navigation to find a goal location. The map-based navigation is the most flexible form of navigation allowing subjects to recalculate new optimal routes based on the new circumstances encountered during the navigation (e.g. presence of new obstacles). The medial entorhinal grid cells and hippocampal place cells are thought to represent the basic building blocks of the hippocampal spatial cognitive map. During this PhD project, we will characterize the real time formation of the hippocampal cognitive map in two-dimensional environments. We will use these observations to design the neural network architecture of the artificial agents(2), which would reflect the neural dynamics during learning in biological agents (rats and mice).


Relevant references:

1.  G. Buzsáki, E. I. Moser, Memory, navigation and theta rhythm in the hippocampal-entorhinal system. Nat. Neurosci. 16, 130–138 (2013).

2.  A. Banino, C. Barry, B. Uria, C. Blundell, T. Lillicrap, P. Mirowski, A. Pritzel, M. J. Chadwick, T. Degris, J. Modayil, G. Wayne, H. Soyer, F. Viola, B. Zhang, R. Goroshin, N. Rabinowitz, R. Pascanu, C. Beattie, S. Petersen, A. Sadik, S. Gaffney, H. King, K. Kavukcuoglu, D. Hassabis, R. Hadsell, D. Kumaran, Vector-based navigation using grid-like representations in artificial agents. Nature. 557, 429–433 (2018).

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