Ivan Herreros. A theory of cerebellar anticipatory motor control.

Wednesday, 7 September, 2016 - 12:00 to 13:30

I will introduce the counter-factual predictive control (CFPC) approach, a control scheme that is both a theory of cerebellar function and a practical scheme that can be applied in robotics.

CFPC is an adaptive control strategy inspired in the anatomy, physiology and behaviour of classical eye-blink conditioning, one of the simplest experimental paradigms to study learning in animals. In eye-blink conditioning, an initially neutral stimulus such as a tone or a light (the conditioning stimulus, CS) is followed, after a fixed delay, by a noxious one, such as an air puff to the eye (the unconditioned stimulus, US). As a result, during early trials, a protective unconditioned response (UR), a blink, occurs reflexively in a feedback manner following the US. After training though, a well-timed anticipatory blink (the conditioned response, CR) precedes the US

Hence, in this talk I will first introduce CFPC, linking it to eye-blink conditioning. Then, on a practical level, I will show robotic applications of CFPC in the acquisition of postural adjustments, and on a theoretical level, introduce predictions about cerebellar physiology made by CFPC that we have recently published. Finally, I will speculate on how can we translate CFPC from the control of action to the control of thought.