Cartesian Abstraction Can Yield 'Cognitive Maps'

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


It has been long debated how the so called cognitive map, the set of place cells, develops in rat hippocampus. The function of this organ is of high relevance, since the hippocampus is the key component of the medial temporal lobe memory system, responsible for forming episodic memory, declarative memory, the memory for facts and rules that serve cognition in humans. Here, a general mechanism is put forth: We introduce the novel concept of Cartesian factors. We show a non-linear projection of observations to a discretized representation of a Cartesian factor in the presence of a representation of a complementing one. The computational model is demonstrated for place cells that we produce from the egocentric observations and the head direction signals. Head direction signals make the observed factor and sparse allothetic signals make the complementing Cartesian one. We present numerical results, connect the model to the neural substrate, and elaborate on the differences between this model and other ones, including Slow Feature Analysis [17].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-271
Number of pages13
JournalProcedia Computer Science
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • autoencoder
  • Cartesian factorization
  • cognitive map
  • comparator hypothesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)

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