This course provides a foundation for new experimental neuroscientists. It is targeted at students beginning a PhD or researchers entering the field from another discipline. It should be considered a “prerequisite” for more advanced training courses in a specialized topic.
Course Director Voight Kampff, London, UK
Co-Director University College London, UK
– Peter Vincent (Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, London, UK)
– Spenser Wilson (Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, London, UK)
– Eirinn Mackay (Sainsbury Wellcome Centre)
– Virginia Rutten (The Gatstby Computational Neuroscience Unit)
What will you learn?
You will be building a robot without using any black boxes. The robot’s physical layout mimics the basic anatomy of a (vertebrate) brain, and as you gradually open this course’s 21 “boxes” your robot will evolve into an increasingly sophisticated machine. We thus call this robot the No-Black-Box-Bot or NB3.
The course is divided into three sections (following the anatomy of the brain): hindbrain (reflexes), midbrain (behaviour), and forebrain (intelligence?).
The online material can be found here.
Week 1: Measuring and Moving
Students build a basic sensory-motor system (a Braitenberg vehicle) that seeks or avoids light and learn about fundamentals of electronics, sensors/actuators, and amplification.
Day 1: “The White Box” Toolkit, Electrons
Day 2: Magnets + Light, Sensors + Motors
Day 3: Semiconductors
Day 4: Amplifiers
Day 5: Reflexes, NB3 demos
Week 2: Computers and Programming
Students extend their robot to make decisions based on sensory input and perform basic computations. With the addition of a microcontroller, the students will learn the fundamentals of computers and programming, and the robots will develop more complex behaviours.
Day 1: Decisions, Logic
Day 2: Data, Memory
Day 3: Computers
Day 4: Control
Day 5: Behaviour, NB3 demos
Week 3: Data Analysis and Machine learning
Students add a computer and camera to their robot. They then learn how to use modern neural networks to create an “intelligent” visual system for their robot that can identify obstacles, rewards, and much more…
Day 1: Hearing + Speech, Vision
Day 2: Learning, Intelligence?
Day 3: NB3 work, NB3 work
Day 4: NB3 work, NB3 work
Day 5: NB3 work, NB3 demos
If you want more information about this NeuroKit, email email@example.com