Speed vs Accuracy: Nervous Systems Tradeoffs Using Robust Control

Monday, November 9, 2015 - 2:25pm - 3:25pm
Lind 305
Yorie Nakahira (California Institute of Technology)
The modern view of the nervous system as layering distributed
computation and communication for the purpose of sensorimotor
control and homeostasis has much experimental evidence but
little theoretical foundation, leaving unresolved the connection
between diverse components and complex behavior. As a simple starting
point, we address a fundamental tradeoff when robust control is done
using communication with both delay and quantization error, which are
both extremely heterogeneous and highly constrained in human and animal
nervous systems. This yields surprisingly simple and tight
analytic bounds with clear interpretations and insights
regarding hard tradeoffs, optimal coding and control strategies,
and their relationship with well known physiology and behavior.
These results are similar to reasoning routinely used informally
by experimentalists to explain their findings, but very different
from those based on information theory and statistical physics
(which have dominated theoretical neuroscience).
MSC Code: