NS Seminar

Date and Location

Mar 01, 2017 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Bldg 434, room 122


The Design of Natural and Artificial Adaptive Systems (presented by Taom Sakal, Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology)

Frank, Steven A. (1996) Adaptation. Editors: Michael Rose and George Lauder Chapter 14. pp 451-504.

The design of adaptive systems will be among the key research problems of the 21st century. This new field is emerging from several distinct lines of work.

1. Modern immunology is based on the theory of clonal selection and adaptive immunity.
2. The design of intelligent computer systems and robots depends on a balance between adaptive improvement by exploration and efficient exploitation of known solutions.
3. The adaptive response of genetic systems to environmental challenge depends strongly on the tempo and mode of sex and recombination.
4. Wiring a brain during development and using that brain to lean are great problems of information management. Recent studies in neuroscience suggest that programmed mechanisms of stochastic variation and controlled selection guide neural development and learning.

What do these different fields have in common? Will there be a new science of adaptation shared by biology and engineering? Can a unified theory guide the study of so many different phenomena? What will be the central tenets of such a theory? [And why would us network scientists care about these points?]


Network Hubs in the Human Brain (presented by Donghao Ren, Computer Science)

van den Heuvel, M. P., & Sporns, O. (2013). Network hubs in the human brain. Trends in cognitive sciences, 17(12), 683-696.

Virtually all domains of cognitive function require the integration of distributed neural activity. Network analysis of human brain connectivity has consistently identified sets of regions that are critically important for enabling efficient neuronal signaling and communication. The central embedding of these candidate ‘brain hubs’ in anatomical networks supports their diverse functional roles across a broad range of cognitive tasks and widespread dynamic coupling within and across functional networks. The high level of centrality of brain hubs also renders them points of vulnerability that are susceptible to disconnection and dysfunction in brain disorders. Combining data from numerous empirical and computational studies, network approaches strongly suggest that brain hubs play important roles in information integration underpinning numerous aspects of complex cognitive function.