thecenter

Activities and Seminars

Jeff Bowers, University of Bristol, UK
 
Date: Sep 15, 2011

What: Why does the brain learn grandmother cells?


What: Why does the brain learn grandmother cells?

When: Thursday, September 15th, 11:00am

Who: Prof. Jeffrey Bowers, University of Bristol, UK

Where: BCBL, Paseo Mikeletegi 69, Floor 2.

Summary:

A number of recent papers highlight the remarkable selectivity of single neurons in the medial temporal lobe and in the inferotemporal cortex. In a recent paper I have argued that these finding are consistent with “grandmother cell” theories of neural representation and lend some biological plausibility to localist models in psychology (Bowers, 2009). My talk today will briefly summarize some of this work, but I will focus on *why* the brain may learn grandmother cells. I show that PDP models that typically learn distributed representations actually learn localist representations under some conditions – conditions that are typical in the real world.