Hi, I'm Noor. I am a theoretical neuroscience researcher; focused on understanding and emulating biological adaptation in health and disease using a first principles account.
My long-term goal is to help design personalised (neural and behavioural) interventions that can support functional recovery after brain damage e.g., stroke, traumatic brain injury.
In service of this agenda, I focus on understanding adaptive mechanisms that underwrite biological learning.
My research targets fundamentally distinct, but interdependent, levels of Bayesian optimisation and investigates the necessary computations required for:
building flexible generative models for life-long learning that can aptly encode (temporal and spatial) information even when the embodied environment changes e.g., Fountas, Sajid, et al, NeurIPs, 2020 (DAI-MC); Yuan, Sajid, et al, 2021.
that can support adaptive planning strategies. This can be introduced using information-based exploration e.g., Sajid, Ball, et al, Neural Computation, 2021; Sajid, Da Costa, et al., The Drive for Knowledge 2022. Conversely, we have formulated latent state preference model learning to induce adaptive behaviour under static deep generative models e.g., Sajid, Tigas, et al, ICML URL, 2021 (PEPPER); Sajid, Tigas, et al, COLLAs Workshop, 2022 (NORE).
afford appropriate optimisation of perceptual learning and inference i.e., what is the right level of approximation for posterior estimation and ensuing message passing schemes for different contexts e.g., Sajid, Faccio, et al Neural Computations, 2022; Sajid, Convertino, Friston, Entropy, 2021; Parr, Sajid, Friston, Entropy, 2020.
Additionally, I am focused on investigating how these generative models may adapt, adjust and (re-)learn after perturbations via computational lesions. For this, we have introduced:
theoretical understanding of functional degeneracy e.g., Sajid, Parr, et al, Cerebral Cortex, 2020;
empirical evidence of degenerate functional architecture e.g., Sajid, Gajardo-Vidal, et al, 2022.
Active Inference Lab Stream
ALBA Lab, UCSF
Active Inference Symposium