Temporal Sequence Detection with Spiking Neurons: Towards recognizing robot language instructions

Christo Panchev, Stefan Wermter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


We present an approach for recognition and clustering of spatio temporal patterns based on networks of spiking neurons with active dendrites and dynamic synapses. We introduce a new model of an integrate-and-fire neuron with active dendrites and dynamic synapses (ADDS) and its synaptic plasticity rule. The neuron employs the dynamics of the synapses and the active properties of the dendrites as an adaptive mechanism for maximizing its response to a specific spatio-temporal distribution of incoming action potentials. The learning algorithm follows recent biological evidence on synaptic plasticity. It goes beyond the current computational approaches which are based only on the relative timing between single pre- and post-synaptic spikes and implements a functional dependence based on the state of the dendritic and somatic membrane potentials around the pre- and post-synaptic action potentials. The learning algorithm is demonstrated to effectively train the neuron towards a selective response determined by the spatio-temporal pattern of the onsets of input spike trains. The model is used in the implementation of a part of a robotic system for natural language instructions. We test the model with a robot whose goal is to recognize and execute language instructions. The research in this article demonstrates the potential of spiking neurons for processing spatio-temporal patterns and the experiments present spiking neural networks as a paradigm which can be applied for modelling sequence detectors at word level for robot instructions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalConnection Science
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Spiking neurons
  • Active dendrites
  • Dynamic synapses
  • Synaptic plasticity
  • Temporal sequence detection
  • Natural language
  • Intelligent robotics


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