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About This Course

This course explains the mathematical and computational models that are used in the field of neurorobotics to answer these questions. The core of understanding intelligence and behavior may lie in interplay between our senses, the millions of neurons in our brain and our actions in the environment.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Build model animals that exhibit simple behaviors like moving towards or away from a stimulus
  • Understand how sensory representations are learned from structured sensory input.
  • Understand how optimal actions can be selected, based on an animals prior experience.
  • Understand simple mathematical models of reinforcement learning.
  • Understand simple models of how simple animals or robots can behave autonomously in a dynamic environment.
  • Requirements

    Add information about the skills and knowledge students need to take this course.

    Course Staff

    Image of Marc-Oliver Gewaltig

    Marc-Oliver Gewaltig

    Marc-Oliver Gewaltig is the Section Manager of Neurorobotics within the Simulation Neuroscience Division. His team investigates the simulation-aided reconstruction of sensory-motor loops in rodents, using data-driven whole brain models and musculo-skeletal body models. Of particular interest is closed-action perception loops in which an animal influences or actively controls its sensory input.

    Marc-Oliver is the co-author of the Neural Simulation Tool NEST (, a popular tool for large-scale simulations of spiking neural networks.

    Image of Berat Denizdurduran

    Berat Denizdurduran

    Berat Denizdurduran received his MSc degree in Electronics Engineering, as a member of the Neuroscience Modelling and Research Group, from Istanbul Technical University in Turkey. Berat has almost finished his PhD work in the Neurorobotics Subproject of the Human Brain Project. He is interested in brain-inspired computational models, reward-based learning, robotics and nonlinear dynamical systems.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What web browser should I use?

    The Open edX platform works best with current versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari, or with Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

    See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.

    What tools or programs do I need?

    You will learn to use the tools of the HBP Neurorobotics platform. For this, you will set up a collab at the HBP platform starting week 1.

    I'm an EPFL student, can I get ECTS (credits) for this MOOC?

    EPFL Doctoral students may get credits for this, see EPFL Doctoral School Pages. You should apply to your program director.


    This MOOC is designed and produced by the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the Human Brain Project and supported by the Patrick and Lina Drahi Foundation.