Bio-inspired Real Time Sensory Map Realignment in a Robotic Barn Owl

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 21 (NIPS 2008)

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Juan Huo, Zhijun Yang, Alan Murray


The visual and auditory map alignment in the Superior Colliculus (SC) of barn owl is important for its accurate localization for prey behavior. Prism learning or Blindness may interfere this alignment and cause loss of the capability of accurate prey. However, juvenile barn owl could recover its sensory map alignment by shifting its auditory map. The adaptation of this map alignment is believed based on activity dependent axon developing in Inferior Colliculus (IC). A model is built to explore this mechanism. In this model, axon growing process is instructed by an inhibitory network in SC while the strength of the inhibition adjusted by Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP). We test and analyze this mechanism by application of the neural structures involved in spatial localization in a robotic system.