In this project, I found that grid fields (often called a “ruler in the brain”), which were thought to “deform” depending on the geometry of the environment, in fact represent uncertainty about the animal’s own location. Here I developed:

  • a normative theory that jointly predicts the deformation of grid fields as well as homing behavior patterns.
  • an ideal observer model that takes as input the video from the 1st-person perspective and egocentric motion, and outputs the posterior belief over the agent’s allocentric location, which allows it to be applied to any setup without handcrafted features, as demonstrated by my re-analysis of historic results.

This project was presented at the following venues:

Bernstein talk video:
Abstract with figure:
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