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This subject has a twofold aim. First, it introduces students to the basic mechanisms of information processing in the brain and nervous system and then explores five areas in more depth. The topics covered in more depth are: (1) neural modelling; (2) neuroimaging; (3) mean-field models of neural activity; (4) neural learning; (5) neural information. Second, it introduces students to a number of important research skills: (i) how to prepare and present a poster, (ii) how to prepare and lead a journal club discussion, and (iii) how to provide feedback on the presentations of other students.
Introduction to neural information processing, neural modelling, neuroimaging, mean-field models of neural activity, neural Information, neural learning.
Intended learning outcomes
INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILO's)
Having completed this unit the student is expected to:
- Describe the principles underlying neural modelling and be familiar with the strengths and limitations of the main classes of neural models.
- Describe the principles underlying the various forms of neuroimaging, as well as their strengths and limitations.
- Describe the modelling of membrane ion channels and their relation to the Hodgkin-Huxley equations.
- Describe the mechanisms underlying learning in the brain and nervous system, as well as how they can be implemented in artificial (biologically inspired machine learning) algorithms.
- Describe the ways in which information theory is used in understanding neural systems.
On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:
- Ability to apply knowledge of basic science and engineering fundamentals.
- Ability to communicate effectively, not only with engineers but also with the community at large.
- Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution.
- Ability to utilise a systems approach to design and operational performance.
- Ability to function effectively as an individual and in multi-disciplinary teams, with the capacity to be a leader or manager as well as an effective team leader.
- Understanding of the social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities of the professional engineer, and the need for sustainable development.
- Understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities and commitment to them.
- Capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity and for the ethics of scholarship.
Last updated: 3 November 2022