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Applied Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium: Evidence accumulation in changing environments: Neurons, organisms and groups

August 25, 2017 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Dr. Zachary Kilpatrick (CU-Boulder) will present “Evidence accumulation in changing environments: Neurons, organisms and groups

To make decisions a constantly changing world, organisms must account for environmental volatility and appropriately discount old information when making decisions based on such accumulated evidence. We introduce Bayesian inference models of decision making, and derive an ideal observer model for inferring the present state of the environment along with its rate of change. Moment closure then allows us to obtain a low-dimensional system that performs comparable inference. These computations can be implemented by a neural network model whose connections are updated according to an activity-dependent plasticity rule. This framework can be extended to consider multiple decisions made in sequence, as well as optimal sharing of information between multiple agents. Our work therefore builds a bridge between statistical decision making in volatile environments and stochastic nonlinear dynamics of neural systems.

Zachary Kilpatrick is an assistant professor of applied mathematics at CU-Boulder. He received his PhD in mathematics from the University of Utah in 2010, followed by an NSF Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to joining the faculty at CU Boulder, he was an Asst Professor of Mathematics at the University of Houston from 2012-2016. His research focuses on mathematical models in neuroscience, specifically stochastic and nonlinear analyses of the neural computations underlying working memory, decision-making, and spatial navigation.

Chauvenet Hall 143


August 25, 2017
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Chauvenet Hall
1015 14th St.
Golden, CO 80401 United States
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