A computational cognitive neuroscience model is proposed, which models episodic memory based on the mammalian brain. A computational neural architecture instantiates the proposed model and is tested on a particular task of distal reward learning. Categorical Neural Semantic Theory informs the architecture design. To experiment upon the computational brain model, embodiment and an environment in which the embodiment exists are simulated. This simulated environment realizes the Morris Water Maze task, a well established biological experimental test of distal reward learning. The embodied neural architecture is treated as a virtual rat and the environment it acts in as a virtual water tank. Performance levels of the neural architectures are evaluated through analysis of embodied behavior in the distal reward learning task. Comparison is made to biological rat experimental data, as well as comparison to other published models. In addition, differences in performance are compared between the normal and categorically informed versions of the architecture.
National Science Foundation, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Sandia National Laboratories
Level of Degree
Electrical and Computer Engineering
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Taylor, Shawn. "A new class of neural architectures to model episodic memory : computational studies of distal reward learning." (2012). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/ece_etds/247