Professor Larry Abbott
Dept of Neuroscience, Columbia University Medical Center
Columbia University, New York    

Title: "Multi-layer network learning in an electric fish"


I will provide an example of how a biological system solves well-known problems associated with learning in multi-layer networks. The electrosensory lobe (ELL) in mormyrid electric fish is a cerebellar-like structure that cancels the sensory effects of self-generated electric fields, allowing prey to be detected. Like the cerebellum, the ELL involves two stages of processing, analogous to the Purkinje cells and cells of the deep cerebellar nuclei.  Through the work of Curtis Bell and others, a model was previously developed to describe the output stage of the ELL, but the role of the Purkinje-cell analogs, the medium ganglion (MG) cells, in the circuit had remained mysterious.  I will present a complete, multi-layer circuit description of the ELL, developed in collaboration with Nate Sawtell and Salomon Muller, that reveals a novel role for the MG cells.  The resulting model reveals that ELL circuitry is organized on the basis of learning rather than by the response properties of neurons.



About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

Seminars in the QBI Auditorium on Level 7 are held on Wednesdays at 12-1pm, which are sometimes simulcast on Zoom (with approval from the speaker). We also occassionally hold seminars from international speakers via Zoom. The days and times of these seminars will vary depending on the time zone of the speaker. Please see each seminar listed below for details. 


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2018