227-1046-00L Computer Simulations of Sensory Systems
|Semester||Spring Semester 2021|
|Periodicity||two-yearly recurring course|
|Language of instruction||English|
|Abstract||This course deals with computer simulations of the human auditory, visual, and balance system. The lecture will cover the physiological and mechanical mechanisms of these sensory systems. And in the exercises, the simulations will be implemented with Python. The simulations will be such that their output could be used as input for actual neuro-sensory prostheses.|
|Objective||Our sensory systems provide us with information about what is happening in the world surrounding us. Thereby they transform incoming mechanical, electromagnetic, and chemical signals into “action potentials”, the language of the central nervous system.|
The main goal of this lecture is to describe how our sensors achieve these transformations, how they can be reproduced with computational tools. For example, our auditory system performs approximately a “Fourier transformation” of the incoming sound waves; our early visual system is optimized for finding edges in images that are projected onto our retina; and our balance system can be well described with a “control system” that transforms linear and rotational movements into nerve impulses.
In the exercises that go with this lecture, we will use Python to reproduce the transformations achieved by our sensory systems. The goal is to write programs whose output could be used as input for actual neurosensory prostheses: such prostheses have become commonplace for the auditory system, and are under development for the visual and the balance system. For the corresponding exercises, at least some basic programing experience is required!!
|Content||The following topics will be covered:|
• Introduction into the signal processing in nerve cells.
• Introduction into Python.
• Simplified simulation of nerve cells (Hodgkins-Huxley model).
• Description of the auditory system, including the application of Fourier transforms on recorded sounds.
• Description of the visual system, including the retina and the information processing in the visual cortex. The corresponding exercises will provide an introduction to digital image processing.
• Description of the mechanics of our balance system, and the “Control System”-language that can be used for an efficient description of the corresponding signal processing (essentially Laplace transforms and control systems).
|Lecture notes||For each module additional material will be provided on the e-learning platform "moodle". The main content of the lecture is also available as a wikibook, under http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Sensory_Systems|
|Literature||Open source information is available as wikibook http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Sensory_Systems|
For good overviews of the neuroscience, I recommend:
• Principles of Neural Science (5th Ed, 2012), by Eric Kandel, James Schwartz, Thomas Jessell, Steven Siegelbaum, A.J. Hudspeth
ISBN 0071390111 / 9780071390118
THE standard textbook on neuroscience.
NOTE: The 6th edition will be released on February 5, 2021!
• L. R. Squire, D. Berg, F. E. Bloom, Lac S. du, A. Ghosh, and N. C. Spitzer. Fundamental Neuroscience, Academic Press - Elsevier, 2012 [ISBN: 9780123858702].
This book covers the biological components, from the functioning of an individual ion channels through the various senses, all the way to consciousness. And while it does not cover the computational aspects, it nevertheless provides an excellent overview of the underlying neural processes of sensory systems.
• G. Mather. Foundations of Sensation and Perception, 2nd Ed Psychology Press, 2009 [ISBN: 978-1-84169-698-0 (hardcover), oder 978-1-84169-699-7 (paperback)]
A coherent, up-to-date introduction to the basic facts and theories concerning human sensory perception.
• The best place to get started with Python programming are the https://scipy-lectures.org/
On signal processing with Python, my upcoming book
• Hands-on Signal Analysis with Python (Due: January 13, 2021
ISBN 978-3-030-57902-9, https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030579029)
will contain an explanation to all the required programming tools and packages.
|Prerequisites / Notice||• Since I have to gravel from Linz, Austria, to Zurich to give this lecture, I plan to hold this lecture in blocks (every 2nd week).|
• In addition to the lectures, this course includes external lab visits to institutes actively involved in research on the relevant sensory systems.