Brains@Bay Meetup - Exploring Neuromodulators and How They Might Impact AI (Apr 13, 2022)

Hi all, thank you to everyone who joined our Brains@Bay meetup on Wednesday! In case you missed it, you can catch the replay here:

I’ll forward this thread to the speakers so feel free to reply with any additional follow-up questions. Follow-up Q&A from the event and slides will be posted soon.

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Do any neuromodulators affect the neocortex directly?

Short answer: yes.

“There are many different neuromodulator types which are either released from small groups of subcortical neurons that send their axon into the neocortex (such as cholinergic afferents from the basal forebrain) or are produced intracortically (such as adenosine).”

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The neuromodulators typically impact a large number of neurons but in limited regions. I have the impression neuromodulation often translates into using modulation for distinguishing tasks in the training of ANN that are bio-inspired. But in the BNN there are multiple neuromodulators operating on subsets of the network. Have researchers mapped this into ANN architectures achieving SOTA results e.g. multiple modulatory networks operating on subsets of the primary network?

Yes, absolutely! To add to @Bitking 's comments, there is an intricate network of neuromodulators impacting the neocortex. The relationship is quite complex and layered. Much of Srikanth’s talk deals with these details, starting at about 4:50 into the video.

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Perfect, thanks all!

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Are there any useful analogies for how neuromodulators change with age, that can help with ANN learning?