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Advancement: WetAI: Designing an Electronics and Software Platform for Hybrid Neural Networks

Speaker Name: 
Kateryna Voitiuk
Speaker Title: 
PhD Student
Speaker Organization: 
Biomolecular Engineering & Bioinformatics PhD
Start Time: 
Monday, May 17, 2021 - 2:00pm
End Time: 
Monday, May 17, 2021 - 3:00pm
Location: 
Zoom - https://ucsc.zoom.us/j/2381272761?pwd=a3hiYjczaTA1blRXcGdKRENqOWtFZz09 - Passcode: organoids

Abstract: The study of neural processing is commonly divided between empirical studies of biological brains and theoretical models of biologically inspired learning algorithms. Recently, induced pluripotent stem cell-derived models of the human brain, known as brain organoids, have enabled deeper access to quantitatively study neural circuit development in a dish. Organoids can be connected to electrode interfaces for computer-mediated measurement and stimulation of neural activity. These advances encourage software-driven experiments on neural tissue to accelerate our understanding of how the brain performs computation. Even though the biological models are available, a novel platform for neural interfacing must be built for these experiments to be performed.

To solve this problem, I propose a novel platform for digital communication between biological and artificial networks to observe and alter activity and to simulate multi-regional brain processes. This advancement proposes (1) optimized electronics for interfacing with brain organoids at scale, (2) representations of connectivity between graph networks of neural models, and (3) experiments to test biologically plausible machine learning in organoid-based cultures with closed-loop stimulus-response-reinforcement training. This work will develop tools that integrate machine and biological learning to deepen our understanding of neural plasticity.

Event Type: 
Advancement/Defense
Advisor: 
David Haussler
Graduate Program: 
Biomolecular Engineering & Bioinformatics PhD