Department of Computer Science | Institute of Theoretical Computer Science | CADMO

Theory of Combinatorial Algorithms

Prof. Emo Welzl and Prof. Bernd Gärtner

Mittagsseminar (in cooperation with M. Ghaffari, A. Steger and B. Sudakov)

Mittagsseminar Talk Information

Date and Time: Thursday, June 30, 2016, 12:15 pm

Duration: 30 minutes

Location: CAB G51

Speaker: Florian Meier

How do brains scale?

Not only the total sizes of brains, but also the sizes of single neurons vary across species. This leads to the question: What is the optimal size of a single neuron to build a brain? And on what parameters does this optimal size depend on?
The classical Willshaw network models the storage of information in a neuronal network. We adapt this network to a setting with geometrically realistic neurons. The size of these neurons is determined by the axonal and dendritic tree radius r. When analysing this network from the perspective of information storage, larger r leads to better performance, whereas the perspective of energy efficient memory recall prefers smaller r. Considering both points of view leads to an optimal value of r. Let C be the total information that should be stored in a network and let I be the average amount of information that is recalled in a time point. Our findings propose that the fraction C/I crucially determines the optimal size of a single neuron.


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