This course provides an introduction into the theoretical behavioral and functional neurosciences from a particular theoretical vantage point, the dynamical systems approach. This approach emphasizes the evolution in time of behavioral and neural patterns as the basis of their analysis and synthesis. Dynamic stability, a concept shared with the classical biological cybernetics framework, is one cornerstone of the approach. Instabilities (or bifurcations) extend this framework and provide a basis for understanding flexibility, task specific adjustment, adaptation, and learning.
The course will include tutorial modules the provide mathematical foundations. Theoretical concepts will be exposed in reference to a number of experimental model systems which will include the coordination of movement, postural and configurational stability, the perception of motion, and elementary forms of spatial cognition. In the spirit of Braitenberg´s "synthetic psychology", autonomous robots will be used to illustrate some of the ideas.
Exercises will be integrated into the lectures. They will consist of elementary mathematical exercises, the design of (thought) experiments and their analysis, and the design of simple artificial systems, all on the basis of the theoretical framework exposed in the main lectures.
- Course type
- Winter Term 2014/2015
every week on Thursday from 14:15 to 16:00 in room NB 3/57.
First appointment is on 09.10.2014
every week on Thursday from 16:15 to 17:00 in room NB 3/57.
First appointment is on 16.10.2014
Takes place on
from 10:00 to 12:00 in room NB 3/57.
Exercises are corrected and held by Oliver Lomp. Details on grading are available in the course rules below.
Details on the requirements for the exercise are given in the course rules below. Please register for the exam with our secretaries.
A good book to look up some mathematics related to dynamical systems: Edward R. Scheinerman's Invitation to Dynamical Systems (available as a free download). Note that only some parts of that book are relevant for the lecture.
If you are interested, you can also find more literature on the homepage of our robotics school. However, this isn't necessarily relevant to the course.