ELSC Seminar: November 7th, 2019

ELSC cordially invites you to the lecture given by:


Prof. Opher Donchin

Department of Biomedical Engineering and Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


On the topic of:

“Noise, learning, and knowing in the motor system”


Twenty-five years ago, Reza Shadmehr and Mussa-Ivaldi published a paper that revolutionized the field of motor learning. Their contribution focused the attention of the field on a seemingly simple task -- adaptation to perturbed reaching -- where it was felt we coudl reach real undersatnding Five years later, Reza Shadmehr and Kurt Thoroughman proposed a simple model -- an error correcting state space model -- for understanding behavior in the task. In the intervening years, our understanding has deepened and what seemed like a simple system has grown increasingly complex. I will review our current understanding of motor adaptation, and its relevance to motor learning and learning in general. Some of the specific issues I will highlight are: hierarchies of learning, mapping learning to neural structures, the relative roles of explicit and implicit learning, and the way noise and variability relate to learning. Ultimately, the goal will be demonstrate how a simple model can focus the attention of a field, leading to stunning, consistent progress and developing insights with deep resonance far beyond the field.