Recent Saturday Morning NeuroSim Conversations

The Orthogonal Research and Education Lab YouTube channel is continuing to feature our Saturday Morning NeuroSim meetings, which are typically about two hours long. This is not a format friendly to quick recaps nor something that easily allows connections to be made across topics.

Here is an update on selected conversations and discussion threads that have particular relevance to activities in the lab. We have had a number of new and continuing Slack contributors join us over the past few months. Welcome!

On August 21, we had a conversation on category theory in two parts: the first covering the application of category theory to symbolic systems, and the second on compositional game theory and its applications to developmental processes.

Then on August 28, we followed up this discussion with a quick review of category theory as applied to AI, in particular the work on Michael Arbib.

Next up is an overview of our shared notes document on the BICA*AI conference. Moving from Cognition and AI to Ethics and Society, Krishna Katyal gave the group a short introduction to deep fakes, while Angela Risius developed a talk on Data Trusts, which was presented to the Rokwire Lecture Series on November 3.

We have also had some discussion and review of the history and trajectory of Virtual Reality. This was during the July 31 and August 7 meetings. These discussions focused on the rise, fall, and resurrection of Virtual Reality, perhaps in a manner similar to the AI summers and winters.

In the October 2nd meeting, Bradly Alicea presented on the innate components of a meta-brain model as well as an early version of the “Universal Theory of Switching”. Ankit Grover then presented his work with the FLISCOPT genetic algorithm, which were combined into an accepted Neuromatch 4 short presentation. This is an example of the serendipitous type of collaborations our meetings and Slack team affords.

On October 16, Bradly Alicea led a discussion on Godel, Escher, and Bach that included some of the concepts that come out of this work, such as recursivity and incompleteness. Below are some screen shots from the discussion.

We also like to review papers in our meetings, and our October 23 meeting featured an eclectic discussion of Meta-learning and Monads, Wavelets, and Spatial Representations of 3D spaces.

Our October 30 meeting featured a discussion on Facebook and the Metaverse and creating human eggs from induced pluripotent stem cells. Then, at our November 6 meeting, we had a discussion on cybernetical feedback and visual momentum (connecting nicely with our Gibsonian Information preprint).

Continuing with the lab’s work on switching and cybernetics, Bradly Alicea leads a discussion on how switching between two states is a form of zeroth-order regulation. This concept has particular relevance to developmental critical periods, game-theoretic games against nature, and the effects of signal fluctuations over time.

Jesse Parent has been giving a series of short presentations on career development for emerging scholars (entering a graduate program and working towards a PhD).

October 2: How to write a position paper.

October 9: Mental Toolkits and Writing a Field-finding Paper.

October 16: Resource Organization and Curriculum Building.

October 30: Lab Involvement and STEM Education.

November 20: Finding the Right Fit and Success.

Pictured: Erin Higgs, Ankit Grover, Jesse Parent, Arthur Enrici, Morgan Hough, and Bradly Alicea




A distributed collaborative-based open science lab with interests in computational science, biology & neuroscience, and cognition.

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Bradly Alicea

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