Katharina Wilmes (Alumni Lecture Series): Uncertainty-modulated prediction errors in cortical microcircuits

Universität Bern

We invite to our next alumni lecture series. Katharina Wilmes, PostDoc at the Universität Bern, Switzerland, and right after her Fred Roemschied, Group Leader at the European Neuroscience Institute in Göttingen will give a lecture and talk shortly about their career paths.

After the talks we will organize a social with pizza and beer.

To make contextually appropriate predictions in a stochastic environment, the brain needs to take uncertainty into account. Prediction error neurons have been identified in layer 2/3 of diverse brain areas. How uncertainty modulates prediction error activity and hence learning is, however, unclear. Here, we use a normative approach to derive how prediction errors should be modulated by uncertainty and postulate that such uncertainty-weighted prediction errors (UPE) are represented by layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons. We further hypothesise that the layer 2/3 circuit calculates the UPE through the subtractive and divisive inhibition by different inhibitory cell types. We ascribe different roles to somatostatin-positive (SST), and parvalbumin-positive (PV) interneurons. By implementing the calculation of UPEs in a microcircuit model, we show that different cell types in cortical circuits can compute means, variances and UPEs with local activity-dependent plasticity rules. Finally, we show that the resulting UPEs enable adaptive learning rates


Guests are welcome!


Organized by

Margret Franke/Darko Komnenic

This alumni lecture series is financially supported by our Einstein Foundation Doctoral Program Computational Neuroscience.

Location: BCCN Berlin, Philippstr. 13 Haus 6, 10115 Berlin - lecture hall 9

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