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Exploration of brain networks

Trainee Achievements

Exploration of brain networks

Josh De Leeuw explored why brain networks exhibit small world properties by combining a large set of tools and approaches from graph theory, artificial life, and agent-based modeling. He constructed a simulation environment that evolves simple agents controlled by an artificial network of neurons in a variety of environments. The main aim is to see what role the environment might play in shaping network structure. This work has been facilitated by two IGERT courses, Networks of the Brain and Artificial Life as an Approach to Artificial Intelligence, and regular consultation with the IGERT instructors of both courses. Interactions with other IGERT students in and out of class, as well as with IGERT faculty working on related subjects, have been instrumental for sharpening his focus and for solving difficult technical and conceptual issues. Particularly salient was input from students and faculty working on developmental mechanisms, learning, robotics and cognitive neuroscience.