PHYS brown bag seminar: Programming hydrogel with a classical conditioning algorithm

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Presenter: Hang Zhang (Department of Applied Physics, Molecular Materials group)

Abstract: 

There exists a growing need for adaptive functional materials. Could responsive materials learn to recognize another stimulus to which they are originally indifferent? Such behavior would mimic classical conditioning in behavioral psychology, one of the elementary forms of learning. Here we demonstrate a hydrogel system programmed to show classical conditioning, which responds to an initially neutral stimulus (light) after a conditioning process, where the neutral stimulus is associated with an unconditioned stimulus (heat). Inspired by the biological processes, we also show extinction/recovery of memory by out-of-equilibrium processes. We also suggest generalizations for other stimuli and materials emulating algorithmically the elementary aspects of learning.

Join us for science and pizza in the Nanotalo lobby!

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