Numenta Logo

BU Center for Systems Neuroscience

NumentaNumentaJeff Hawkins and Subutai Ahmad
BU Center for Systems Neuroscience
WhenWed, Dec 13, 2017 12:15 PM — 1:15 PM
Boston University
Boston, MA USA
WebEvent Website
TopicHave We Missed Most of What the Neocortex Does? Allocentric Location as the Basis of Perception
SpeakingJeff Hawkins and Subutai Ahmad


This talk is part of a tour in which Jeff and Subutai are visiting neuroscience labs and universities to present our latest research and engage with scientists to experiment with our theories.

In this talk, we will describe a theory that sensory regions of the neocortex process two inputs. One input is the well-known sensory data arriving via thalamic relay cells. The second input is an allocentric representation, which we propose is derived in the sub-granular layers of each cortical column. The allocentric location represents where the sensed feature is relative to the object being sensed. These two inputs are combined in layer 4. As the sensors move, cortical columns learn complete models of objects by integrating feature and location representations over time. During inference, inter-column projections allow columns to rapidly reach a consensus of what object is being sensed, often in a single visual fixation or a single grasp of a hand. We propose that the representation of allocentric location in each column is derived using the same principles as grid cells in the entorhinal cortex. In this proposal, individual cortical columns are able to model complete complex objects and are therefore more powerful than currently believed. We will be discussing material from these two papers. Others can be found at

NumentaNumentaJeff Hawkins and Subutai Ahmad