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Department: Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics
The CCNR was created in 1996 as a joint research venture between the schools of Biological Sciences (BIOLS) and Cognitive and Computing Sciences (COGS) at the University of Sussex. Its remit was to explore and exploit the interfaces between biological and computational sciences.
The initial aim of the centre was to encourage a two-way flow of ideas and methods between Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence in order to provide new ways to help understand behaviour-generating mechanisms in natural systems (animals) and to develop control systems for artificial autonomous agents (robots). Although research in these areas continues, the remit of the CCNR has broadened, and now encompasses a wide range of related cross-discipline activities as can be seen from the list of research areas and publications.
The benefits of a cross-disciplinary approach are reflected in the nature of the research which is carried out here. Some of the research in the Centre can be characterised as Biologically-Inspired Engineering, this includes the design-oriented aspects of evolutionary electronics and robotics research. Other research makes use of computer simulations and/or autonomous robots as modelling tools for the investigation of specific biological phenomena such as insect navigation strategies, computational models of neuronal circuits and evolutionary dynamics. However, most of the Centre's work has elements of both of these - this synergy is something we particularly wish to encourage.