The human brain is an extremely complex system able to learn to perform a wide range of intelligent behaviours. In this course the brain is considered from the perspective of how to understand a very complex system and also for guidance on to how to design an artificial general intelligence system.
Students will learn how to approach understanding of complex functional systems by means of descriptions on many different levels of detail which can be mapped into each other. These skills are needed to understand, design and modify very complex electronic systems. This approach will be applied to understanding human cognitive phenomena in terms of brain anatomy, physiology and chemistry. Comparisons will be made between learning in the brain and in current artificial neural networks.
The course covers A. How very complex systems can be understood; B. The major human cognitive processes; C. The anatomy, physiology and chemistry of the brain; D. The information process architecture of the brain; E. Differences between the brain and current artificial neural networks. F. Hierarchies of description for understanding cognitive phenomena in terms of brain anatomy, physiology and chemistry.
The course will be relevant to students interested in designing complex functional systems and general artificial intelligence systems. The descriptions of the human brain and approaches to understanding make the course relevant to students interested in research on the mammal brain, and students interested in medical studies of the human brain.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
By the end of this course you should be able to:
- Identify what is necessary to understand a complex system
- Describe the primary information processing functions of major anatomical and physiological structures in the brain.
- Explain the operation of a range of major human memory and other cognitive processes on several different but consistent levels of detail from psychology to physiology.
- Identify ways in which any cognitive process can be understood in terms of physiological and anatomical mechanisms.
- Describe how the brain differs from current artificial neural network applications
- Assignments (30%)
- Mid term exam (10%)
- Final exam (60%)
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Workload30 one hour lectures 9 one hour tutorials
Requisite and Incompatibility
Towards a Theoretical Neuroscience: from cell chemistry to cognition by L. Andrew Coward
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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