CSAIL Event Calendar: Previous Series
The Simulation Engine of the Brain
Speaker: Dr. Demis Hassabis , Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, UCL
Relevant URL: http://cbcl.mit.edu
In daily life, people frequently imagine future events, such as how a dinner date might unfold. Such 'simulations' are typically mentally played out in a rich spatial context, and often involve the presence of people and their concomitant thoughts and behaviors. It has been proposed that a common 'core' brain network supports the simulation of past, future, or hypothetical experiences. I will describe a series of fMRI and patient studies exploring the neural mechanisms that underpin this simulation system, and also cover the key sub-processes involved such as scene construction and personality modeling. Finally, I will address some of the most topical theoretical issues including the adaptive advantage of such a simulation system and its intriguing connections to the latest artificial intelligence research for efficient planning in artificial agents.