Co-Design Project 5

Co-Design Project 5 -
Functional Plasticity for Learning in large-Scale Systems

Co-Design Project 5 is targeting learning the phenomenon of learning, providing a link between the transfer of biological learning principles (explored in the Brain Simulation (SP6) and Neuromorphic Computing (SP9) Subprojects) and the Neurorobotics Platform.

It also offers a connection between biological neuroscience data and Cognitive Neuroscience (SP3), strongly guided by Theoretical Neiroscience (SP4) and with a solid foundation in the biology of learning and plasticity investigated in SP3, but also in SP1 (Strategic Mouse Brain Data) and SP2 (Strategic Human Brain Data). Diverse biological data on synaptic plasticity will also need to be integrated and the functionality of learning transposed to the Platforms.

Synaptic plasticity as the basis for learning and development is particularly challenging, since the time taken for developmental and learning processes ranges from milliseconds (for neuronal action potentials) to days (for behavioural learning paradigms) to several years. Simulations of these processes therefore need to recreate this, and can only be realistic if it as fast as, or preferably significantly faster, than the biological time taken. The Neuromorphic Platform, which offers an accelerated time factor of several thousand, is therefore ideal to test these paradigms.

The outputs developed in CDP5 will provide scientific guidance for designing the neuromorphic hardware systems and providing them with the capability of learning. Such systems will be an incredibly useful tool for future users when designed in iterative cycles between neuroscientists and engineers. This therefore requires very close collaboration between experimental neuroscientists, theoreticians and engineers from the various Subprojects, and the Products to be developed within CDP5 will support this.

These Products are:

  • CDP5-P1: Suite of benchmark learning tasks
  • CDP5-P2: cellular and cognitive determinants of functional plasticity
  • CDP5-P3: Guiding platform design on functional plasticity
  • CDP5-P4: Concept showcases in big systems

CDP Science Leader: Walter SENN

CDP Implementation Leader: David LESTER