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GT Neuro Seminar Series

Event Details

Monday, November 4, 2019

11:15am - 12:15pm

Krone Engineered Biosystems Building, Room 1005 - Atlanta, GA

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Event Details

“Hyperbolic Geometry of the Olfactory Space”

Tatyana Sharpee, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Studies
Salk Institute

Using the sense of smell as an example, I will describe both theoretical reasons and experimental evidence that natural stimuli and human perception can be mapped onto a low dimensional curved surface. This surface turns out to have a negative curvature, corresponding to a hyperbolic metric. Although this map was derived purely from the statistics of co-occurrence between mono-molecular odorants in the natural environment it revealed topography in the organization of human perception of smell. I will conclude with arguments for why hyperbolic metric should be generally applicable elsewhere in the nervous system.

Last revised October 28, 2019