SC5 Why the brain needs a body (with emphasis on vision)


I. An overview of cognitive architecture
II. The basics of reinforcement learning
III. Understanding motor control
IV. The frontier: dealing with neural oscillations


To give the student an introduction to computational neuroscience


Brain Computation as Hierarchical Abstraction, 2015 MIT Press

Course location


Course requirements


Instructor information.

Dana Ballard


University of Texas


My main research interest is in computational theories of the brain with emphasis on human vision and motor control. In 1985 Chris Brown and I led a team that designed and built a high speed binocular camera control system capable of simulating human eye movements. The system was mounted on a robotic arm that allowed it to move at one meter per second in a two meter radius workspace. This system has led to an increased understanding of the role of behavior in vision, in particular that visual computations can be simpler when interacting in the 3D world. Currently I am interested in pursuing this research by using high DOF machine learning models of humans' natural behavior in virtual reality environments and extending the models to the neural substrate.