This center leverages the strengths of Carnegie Mellon in cognitive and computational neuroscience and those of the University of Pittsburgh in basic and clinical neuroscience to support a coordinated cross-university research and educational program of international stature.


Jay Hennig
Aug 21 @ 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Presenter: Jay Hennig

Time: 2:30pm, Monday, August 21

Location: Mellon Institute 115

Title: Strategies for resolving neural redundancy

Advisors: Steve Chase & Byron Yu

Abstract: Millions of neurons in the brain drive the activity of hundreds of muscles, meaning many different neural activity patterns could generate the same movement. How does the brain resolve this neural redundancy? To address this question, we leveraged a brain-computer interface paradigm which allowed us to define precisely which neural activity patterns were behaviorally equivalent. We trained Rhesus monkeys to move computer cursors by modulating neural activity in primary motor cortex. We then predicted the distribution of behaviorally equivalent activity under different hypotheses. Minimal energy principles, inspired by work on muscular redundancy, did not accurately predict this activity. Instead, we found that behaviorally equivalent activity was well predicted by a strategy in which the animal selects any activity pattern from a fixed repertoire of patterns that produce the desired movement. Our findings suggest that neural redundancy is resolved differently than muscular redundancy.

CNBC Colloquium – Elizabeth Brannon
Sep 28 @ 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
CNBC Colloquium – Judith Walters
Dec 7 @ 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

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