Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship
Academic Division: Information Engineering
Research group: Control
Telephone: +44 1223 748369
Neuroscience studies how behaviour and conscious sensory experiences arise from neuronal activity. Prevailing dogma holds that our experiences and identities are encoded in patterns of neural activity and connections between neurons. The vision that we might one day 'upload' minds into computers hinges on this assumption, and current progress in building brain-machine interfaces seems to support it. New results, however, challenge this understanding: synaptic connections and neuronal responses reconfigure, even for fixed behaviours and sensory input. If neural connections and responses continually change, what is stable? The qualitative nature of conscious sensory experiences cannot be explained without considering how behaviour feeds back to affect those senses. Studying closed-loop sensorimotor control may therefore reveal how aspects of sensation and action remain stable despite reconfiguration within the brain.