Slides for this talk are available from the All files section on the left, or by clicking pdf [1.45MB].
Abstract: Neurons engage in causal interactions with one another and with the surrounding body and environment. Neural systems can therefore be analyzed in terms of causal networks, without assumptions about information processing, neural coding, and the like. In this talk, I will describe the analysis of causal networks in simulated neural systems – “brain-based devices” - using a combination of time-series analysis (“Granger causality”) and network theory. I will draw implications for possible causal pathways in the hippocampus and for the relation between synaptic plasticity and behavioral learning. With respect to the latter, I will explore the notion that learning involves the selection of specific causal pathways from diverse repertoires of neuronal interactions, resulting in dynamic “causal cores” that drive behavior.