Liquid Computing in a Simplified Model of Cortical Layer IV: Learning to Balance a Ball

  • Dimitri Probst
  • Wolfgang Maass
  • Henry Markram
  • Marc-Oliver Gewaltig
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7552)


We present a biologically inspired recurrent network of spiking neurons and a learning rule that enables the network to balance a ball on a flat circular arena and to steer it towards a target field, by controlling the inclination angles of the arena. The neural controller is a recurrent network of adaptive exponential integrate and fire neurons configured and connected to match properties of cortical layer IV. The network is used as a liquid state machine with four action cells as readout neurons. The solution of the task requires the controller to take its own reaction time into account by anticipating the future state of the controlled system. We demonstrate that the cortical network can robustly learn this task using a supervised learning rule that penalizes the error on the force applied to the arena.


Spiking neural networks NEST dynamic control task neurobotics brain-inspired computing AdEx supervised learning closed-loop motor control 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dimitri Probst
    • 1
    • 3
  • Wolfgang Maass
    • 2
  • Henry Markram
    • 1
  • Marc-Oliver Gewaltig
    • 1
  1. 1.Blue Brain ProjectÉcole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute for Theoretical Computer ScienceTechnische Universität GrazGrazAustria
  3. 3.Ruprecht-Karls Universität HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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