Welcome to the Convergent Science Network Podcast!
During the BCBT Summerschools (2010 , 2011 and 2012) hosting professors Paul Verschure and Tony Prescott interviewed several of the speakers after their lectures. But also on other occasions interviews with various scientist in converging fields are conducted.
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.
Duration: 28:57 m - Filetype: mp3 - Bitrate: 160 KBPS - Frequency: 44100 HZ
Interview with Melanie Boly
This post-lecture interview was conducted during the BCBT Summerschool held at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, september 2010.
Several theories of how the brain can produce consciousness have been proposed, amongst which the Global Workspace theory. Melanie Boly (Belgian National Fund of Scientific Research) approaches the evaluation of such theories from a clinical perspective: what can we actually measure and compare between patients that are in different states of consciousness? What differs, or correlates in terms of behavioral capabilities as well as brain functionality, between person in a vegetative state, in a coma, a minimally conscious state, or someone that is fully awake? The research of her team moved from looking from a global perspective on brain behavior and the connectivity involved with consciousness, towards a particular interest in the differences that occur in frontal and parietal brain areas. With Paul Verschure she discusses the need to aim multiple different approaches for the measurement of consciousness, like techniques combining clinical observation and physiology, towards similar theoretical paradigms. Especially for the appropriate diagnosis of a patient's state such questions are highly relevant, because it defines a meaningful terminology for indices, tags, and the associated levels of particular functionality.
About the lecturer
Melanie Boly is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Belgian National Fund of Scientific Research and Neurologist in training at the University Hospital CHU Sart Tilman under Prof. Gustave Moonen. Her current research is on the assessment of cerebral responses to pain in individual non-communicative patients, and their relationships with the patients' behavioural responses as evaluated using standardized clinical scales.
Keywords: interview, science, neuroscience, cognition