I sent a friend of mine Rotbart’s 2019 talk, a 30 minute general overview of the principles behind HTM. He sent me back some thoughts about how although structure is mostly uniform across the neocortex, there are distinct regions with specific characteristics.
I googled a little more regarding this, read some articles on how the primary visual cortex is located in the occipital lobe, complex language processing is mostly handled in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex etc.
My neuroscience knowledge is very limited, so I’m making some rather broad assumptions here:
- Unique regions handling certain functions mean that certain nerves are (genetically?) wired to input to those regions (eyes being largely connected to the occipital lobe)
- Over the course of human life, nerve input to those segments influences neuron/synapse development according to 1) input data and 2) reward/consequence processing
- Unique “styles” of combinations of input + ‘label’ will develop unique architecture / synapse connection structure within certain regions (visual processing neurons may look different from linguistic)
- Therefore, if we’re able to analyze what makes the visual cortex’s neuron structure/connectivity/arrangement unique (compared to say, ventrolateral prefrontal language centers), we have some vague understanding of “what makes the brain good at processing a certain type of data”.
This is quite broad, still - “good” is in terms of ‘using the brain’s own biological machinery, hierarchical functions etc’, not necessarily good for existing HTM models.
So my question is: Are there any HTM systems/research initiatives focused on distinct regional variations within the neocortex? Or if we’re still far from that point, a good starting point for me would probably be to read some papers on neocortex regions and what makes the actual neurons unique.
I think the hard part would be translating those structural differences to an HTM model - variables like dropout, connectivity patterns and perhaps encoder tweaking?
This also made me think about running the same data through several HTM models with differently-tweaked parameters, not unlike a regular random forest model, though I doubt this is really a new idea.
Any thoughts regarding cortex regions and HTM architecture variance would be greatly welcome.