Welcome to the Convergent Science Network Podcast!
During the BCBT Summerschools (2010 , 2011 and 2012) 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 hosts: Paul 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, www.csnetwork.eu) 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.
- Peter Gärdenfors (Lund University) discusses with Paul Verschure how the mind can represent knowledge. He introduces a cognitive theory of conceptual spaces, built from dimensions derived from perception, action, and social grounding in society.
- Nick Strausfeld's interest (University of Arizona, Tucson) lies in evolution and comparative neurobiology. With Paul & Tony he discusses how common denominators of insect brains lead us to find core system architectures.
- Moshe Bar (Harvard Medical School, Charlestown) argues for a cognitive model that blends expectation (top-down) and sensation (bottom-up) processing. With Paul Verschure he discusses also imagination, meditation, and depression treatment in this context.
- Mandyam Srinivasan's research (University of Queensland, Brisbane) centers on vision and cognition of flying insects, especially bees. He discusses it with Paul Verschure and special guest Partha Mitra (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York).
- Dmitri B. Chklovskii (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) discusses the idea of the brain as an adaptive filter, and what theoretical and experimental implications this approach entails.
- Dana Ballard (University of Texas, Austin) argues that vision is agenda-driven, rather than saliency-driven alone. With Paul Verschure he discusses how the idea of gathering and integrating information quanta into a mental scene applies to a wider model.
- Andy Philipides (University of Sussex, UK) studies insect navigation, as e.g. ants do. With Tony Prescott he discusses the importance of studying real ants in natural environments next to lab modeling, and themes like path integration and visual memory.
- Kevin O'Regan (Université Paris Descartes, France) theorizes building robots that can feel. Passing topics like sensory presence and sensorimotor laws, he and Paul Verschure reach the boundaries of what it means to 'feel'.
- Mitra Hartmann (Northwestern University, USA) researches perception, particularly 'active sensing'. With Tony Prescott, a colleague in the field, she discusses what can be learnt from exploratory behavior like whisking, including behavior and biology.
- After the speaker's talk at the Barcelona Cognition, Brain and Technology Summerschool 2010 at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Paul Verschure and Tony Prescott go deeper into the subjects presented.