Convergent Science Network Podcast

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Welcome to the Convergent Science Network Podcast! 

During the BCBT Summerschools (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) hosting professors Paul Verschure and Tony Prescott interviewed several speakers after their lectures. Interviews are also conducted on other occasions with various scientist in converging fields.

About the hostsPaul Verschure is ICREA Professor at SPECS, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona; Tony Prescott is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Sheffield.

The Convergent Science Network of biomimetic and biohybrid systems (CSN, is a coordination action for the development of future real-world technologies. CSN is supported through the Future and Emerging Technology programs (FET) of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) work programme of Framework Programme 7 of the European Commission.

Audio (post-)production: Sytse Wierenga. Podcast site: Alberto Betella.

Thoughts, discussions, and achievements in neurobiology, biomimetic and biohybrid systems

We can learn a lot from brains and bodies when making machines and robots. But reversely, building complex machine systems can also give ideas about how brains and bodies have implemented their functioning over the evolution of ages. This podcast discusses various themes and aspects in-between robotics, neuroscience, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, biology, and technology.

Interview with Partha Mitra


							 Interview with Partha Mitra

This post-lecture interview was conducted during the BCBT Summerschool held at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, september 2010.

The current study of the brain faces a paradox: neuroscience produces an enormous amount of data, but there is surprisingly little integrated framework to fit the dispersed, and heterogeneous data collections together. Inspired by the human genome project, a group of scientists, amongst whom Partha Mitra (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, USA), have started working on a framework to resolve some of this paradox, and integrate the large amounts of sometimes over-specialized data at a lower but shared resolution, over a more global scale at the level of mesocircuitry. Originally a theoretical physicist, Mitra finds himself turning to modesty in the face of neuro-anatomatical practice, and discusses with Paul Verschure and Tony Prescott the challenges such an ambitious project faces. One of the recommendations he makes, is to take the knowledge coming from (re)building neurocircuitry as emerging from engineering practices much more seriously, with respect to what it can reveal about the functional and evolutionary history of brain areas. Another recommendation is to accept a plurality of theories to apply to explain particular single phenomena, which is a view that deviates from ones characterizing his background in physics.

About the lecturer
Partha Mitra is currently the principal investigator at the Mitra Lab at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY. The interests of the lab fall into three main areas: Neuroinformatics, Theoretical Engineering and Quantitative Behavior & Electrophysiology.

Categories | | Neuroimaging and data processing | Neuroscience


Filetype: MP3 - Size: 46.78MB - Duration: 40:45 m (160 kbps 44100 Hz)