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Upcoming Events

  • Arash Afraz

    Navigating perceptual space with neural perturbations

    Date: Tuesday, Feb. 27, 3:00 p.m. (note time change)
    Location: 46-5165 (MIBR Reading Room)
    Special Research Talk, Arash Afraz, Ph.D. Dr. Afraz received his MD from Tehran University of Medical Sciences in 2003 and his PhD in Psychology from Harvard University in 2009. He joined NIMH at NIH as a principal investigator in 2017 to lead the unit on Neurons, Circuits and Behavior.
  • photo of Tom Griffiths

    Quest | CBMM Seminar Series - Tom Griffiths

    Date: March 12, 2024 | 4pm EST
    Location: Singleton Auditorium, Building 46
    Tom Griffiths is interested in developing mathematical models of higher level cognition, and understanding the formal principles that underlie our ability to solve the computational problems we face in everyday life. His current focus is on inductive problems, such as probabilistic reasoning, learning causal relationships, acquiring and using language, and inferring the structure of categories. Griffiths tries to analyze these aspects of human cognition by comparing human behavior to optimal or "rational" solutions to the underlying computational problems. For inductive problems, this usually means exploring how ideas from artificial intelligence, machine learning, and statistics (particularly Bayesian statistics) connect to human cognition. These interests sometimes lead him into other areas of research such as nonparametric Bayesian statistics and formal models of cultural evolution.
  • image of language bubbles on orange background

    Mission Update - Language

    Date: March 19, 2024 | 4pm EST
    Location: Quest Conference Room, 45-322
    The Language Mission broadly aims to understand the relationship between language and human intelligence. Scientific goals include understanding how humans and machine learning models interpret and generate language and determining the role of language in the acquisition, representation, and use of knowledge across various domains of cognition.
  • photo of Melanie Mitchel

    Quest | CBMM Seminar Series - Melanie Mitchel

    Date: April 2, 2024 | 4pm EST
    Location: Singleton Auditorium, Building 46
    Mitchell will survey a current, heated debate in the AI research community on whether large pre-trained language models can be said to "understand" language—and the physical and social situations language encodes—in any important sense. She will describe arguments that have been made for and against such understanding, and, more generally, will discuss what methods can be used to fairly evaluate understanding and intelligence in AI systems.
  • photo of Bruno Olshausen

    Quest | CBMM Seminar Series - Bruno Olshausen

    Date: May 7, 2024 | 4pm EST
    Location: Singleton Auditorium, Building 46
    Olshausen's research focuses on understanding the information processing strategies employed by the visual system for tasks such as object recognition and scene analysis. Computer scientists have long sought to emulate the abilities of the visual system in digital computers, but achieving performance anywhere close to that exhibited by biological vision systems has proven elusive. Dr. Olshausen's approach is based on studying the response properties of neurons in the brain and attempting to construct mathematical models that can describe what neurons are doing in terms of a functional theory of vision. The aim of this work is not only to advance our understanding of the brain but also to devise new algorithms for image analysis and recognition based on how brains work.

Past Events

  • Photo of Alexander Borst

    Quest | CBMM Seminar Series - Alexander Borst

    Date: February 14, 2024 | 2pm EST
    Location: Singleton Auditorium, Building 46
    Detecting the direction of image motion is important for visual navigation, predator avoidance and prey capture, and thus essential for the survival of all animals that have eyes. However, the direction of motion is not explicitly represented at the level of the photoreceptors: it rather needs to be computed by subsequent neural circuits.
  • Photo of Yael Niv

    Quest | CBMM Seminar Series - Yael Niv

    Date: February 6, 2024 | 4pm EST
    Location: Singleton Auditorium, Building 46
    The Niv lab focuses on the neural and computational processes underlying reinforcement learning and decision-making, studying the ongoing day-to-day processes by which animals and humans learn from trial and error. Of particular interest is how attention and memory processes interact with reinforcement learning.
  • Photo of Daniel Wolpert

    Quest | CBMM Seminar Series - Daniel Wolpert

    Date: December 5 2023 | 4pm EST
    Location: Singleton Auditorium, Building 46
    Humans spend a lifetime learning, storing and refining a repertoire of motor memories appropriate for the multitude of tasks we perform. However, it is unknown what principle underlies the way our continuous stream of sensorimotor experience is segmented into separate memories and how we adapt and use this growing repertoire. I will review our recent work on how humans learn to make skilled movements focussing on how statistical learning can lead to multimodal object representations, how we represent the dynamics of objects, the role of context in the expression, updating and creation of motor memories and how families of objects are learned.