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BCBT 2017

  • Fechas:

    Del 30/08/17 al 08/09/17

  • Lugar:

    UPF, Barcelona, Barcelona, España (mapa)

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BCBT Summer School      30 August - 8 September 2017

The Barcelona Cognition Brain and Technology is an annual international summer school that promotes a shared systems-level understanding of the functional architecture of the brain and its possible emulation in artificial systems.This school addresses students and researchers involved in research at the interface between brains and technology such as in the ambit of  “Bio-ICT convergence” "Brain Inspired ICT" and “cognitive systems and robotics”.

Students will have the opportunity to attend lectures from prominent scientists in the field of brain research, cognitive science and neuroscience, artificial intelligent and related fields. Students will also attend tutorials and work on projects that will be presented at the end of the 2 weeks of the summer school.

 

This year, in collaboration with the SPECS_lab of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, the school is supported by the ERC project CDAC that investigates the role in adaptive of consciousness behavior combining empirical, computational and robot based approach. 

The 2nd week of the school is supported by Episense, a project that investigates brain mechanisms of perception and memory. Episense is a subproject of the Human Brain Project (HBP) a  EU-funded Flagship Initiative designed to help advance neuroscience, medicine, and computing. 

BCBT is pleased to announce Nobel Laureate Edvard Moser as the plenary speaker of the 10th edition of the school.  sponsored by 

 

School main program  _________________________________________________________________________________

The 1st week will be dedicated to address issues related to the Neural basis of consciousness                                
Morning: 2-3 Lectures and poster session 
Afternoon/Evening: Work on Project
 
The 2nd week will deal with Learning and Memory, Brain function and Behavior
Morning: 2-3 Lectures and poster session 
Afternoon/Evening: Work on Project, and final presentation

____________________________________________________________________________________

 

BCBT Program Committee

Paul Verschure (Week 1 chair)  University Pompeu Fabra, ICREA, Barcelona, ES
Tony Prescott (Week 2 chair)  University of Sheffield, UK
Anna Mura  (co-chair) University Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, ES

 

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30
Nov -0001
  • 00:00 - 00:00
    Workshop presentation

    persentació del workshop a la plaça Gutemberg

29
Ago 2017
  • 22:00 - 22:00
    WEEK1

    The 1st week program is dedicated to address issues related to the Neural basis of consciousness               

30
Ago 2017
  • 06:30 - 07:15
    Registration and Welcome

    9:15- 9:30   Paul Verschure, Anna Mura  UPF, Spain

                        Highlights of BCBT summer school

  • 07:30 - 09:00
    Anil Seth: The neuroscience of consciousness: tackling the real problem

    University of Sussex, UK

    The biological basis of consciousness stands as one of the great unsolved challenges in science. One approach is to ask how biophysical mechanisms can account for specific phenomenological properties of consciousness, without necessarily explaining the existence of consciousness in the first place. This can be called the ‘real problem’ of consciousness. I will describe how this approach has illuminated three distinct aspects of the biology of consciousness: level, content, and self. For conscious level, ‘how conscious we are’ can be tracked by mathematical measures of neuronal complexity that capture the unified yet differentiated nature of conscious phenomenology. For conscious content, I will describe how the Bayesian framework of ‘predictive processing’ helps reveal the mechanisms underlying conscious perception. And by generalizing predictive processing to interoception – the sense of the body from within - I will develop a Bayesian view of the experience of ‘embodied selfhood’. Speculatively, this may help us understand the deeply subjective nature of consciousness as emerging from systems that care intrinsically about their own existence. It also suggests powerful new approaches to understanding and treating clinical disorders of selfhood and conscious perception.

    Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science
    School of Engineering and Informatics
    University of Sussex
    www.anilseth.com
    @anilkseth

  • 09:00 - 09:30
    COFFEE BREAK
  • 09:30 - 11:00
    Aurore Thibaut: Neuroimaging assessments of consciousness in patients recovering from coma

    University of Liege, Belgium.

    Survivors of severe brain damage classically go through different clinical entities before partially or fully recovering consciousness. Coma is defined as “unarousable unresponsiveness”. After some days to weeks, comatose patients who recover will eventually open their eyes. When this return of “wakefulness” is only accompanied by reflexive motor activity and devoid of any voluntary interaction with the environment, the patient is considered in a vegetative state, entity recently renamed as the unresponsive wakefulness syndrome.This late stage may be a transition to further recovery, or not. Signs of voluntary motor activity should be actively searched for as they herald a minimally conscious state. Sometimes patients awaken from their coma fully conscious but paralyzed, only able to communicate by small eye movements - this condition is called the locked-in syndrome. These very challenging patients represent a major clinical problem in terms of clinical assessment, treatment, and daily management. A number of clinical studies highlighted the difficulty in making a correct diagnosis based only on behavioral examinations. The increasing use of neuroimaging techniques allows improving clinical characterization of these patients. Recent neuroimaging studies using positron emission tomography, functional magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography and transcranial magnetic stimulation demonstrated their utility in improving diagnosis and prognosis of patients with disorders of consciousness, as well as to better understand the neural correlates of consciousness. These techniques, using resting state, passive and active paradigms, also highlight possible dissociations between consciousness and responsiveness and are facilitating a more accurate understanding of brain function in this challenging human population. Besides diagnosis and prognosis issues, there is a therapeutic leak in the field of DOC that is currently getting challenged by recent data supporting that some DOC patients could benefit from some rehabilitative interventions (surgery, pharmacologic agent or transcranial stimulation). Even though large-scale trials, including neuroimaging studies, need to be done to validate their effects and to better comprehend the underlying neuromodulatory effects of these treatments, the first studies on Amantadine, deep brain stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation, lead to promising results. 
  • 13:30 - 15:30
    TUTORIALS and PROJECTS

    Diogo Pata, Giovanni Maffe, Clement. Moulin Frier:  DAC - The Distributed Adaptive Control Brain Architecture. Theory and Practice.

    UPF, Barcelona

    Part 1: 'Building robot models of the hippocampus grid cells"

    In this tutorial, we will go through the key literature of the hippocampal spatial cells, and we will implement a model of the grid cells for spatial representation. Next, we will have a hands-on session with robot simulations. 

    Ref: DAC - Distributed Adaptive Control: Theory and Practice

31
Ago 2017
  • 07:00 - 08:30
    Bechir Jarraya: Can brain stimulation restore consciousness?

    NeuroSpin, CEA Paris-Saclay

    A major challenge in medicine is the rehabilitation of severely injured patients who recover from brain injuries with an impaired state of consciousness, such as minimally conscious state (MCS) or vegetative state (VS). Currently, these disorders of
    consciousness (DOC) have no valid treatment. Stemming from the recent accumulation of knowledge in the neuroscience of consciousness and the success of therapeutic brain stimulation in other neurological disorders, it is relevant to consider that targeted modulation of brain networks is a promising therapeutic approach to DOC. Electrical brain stimulation, also called neuromodulation, includes various promising approaches such as deep brain stimulation (DBS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) etc. Here I will describe the current and future developments in the field of neuromodulation of states of consciousness. I will show the importance of relevant animal models and functional imaging for the development of brain stimulation to modulate arousal and awareness. This translational research will pave the way to clinical studies that aim at facilitating the recovery of patients with a disorder of consciousness.

  • 08:30 - 09:00
    COFFEE BREAK
  • 09:00 - 10:30
    Lynn Uhrig: Cerebral mechanisms of general anesthesia

    NeuroSpin, CEA Paris-Saclay

    Anesthetics are pharmacological agents that suppress consciousness while acting through different molecular mechanisms. They modulate remote brain areas and end up interfering with global neuronal networks, leading to a controlled and reversible loss of consciousness. The exponential progress in neuroscience and neuroimaging led to a significant step in the understanding of the neural correlates of consciousness, with direct consequences for anesthesia. Far from shutting down all brain activity, anesthetics lead to a shift in the brain state to a distinct, highly specific and complex state, which is being increasingly characterized by modern neuroimaging techniques. For example, anesthesia preserves initial auditory processing but disturbs both short-term and long-term auditory predictive coding mechanisms (Uhrig et al., 2016). There are several clinical consequences and challenges that are arising from the current efforts to dissect general anesthesia mechanisms: the characterization and avoidance of intra-operative awareness and post-anesthesia cognitive disorders and the development of future generations of anesthetics.

     
  • 10:30 - 12:00
    Ton Coolen: Neural versus immune networks, interesting observations and new questions

    King's College London, UK.

    It was realized quite some time ago that there are similarities between recurrent neural networks and the adaptive immune system. Both are complex biological systems that can `learn' and store information. In recurrent neural networks, the relevant processors are the neurons, and the information is stored in the interactions between them. In the adaptive immune system, the key dynamical variables are sizes of lymphocyte `clones', and the information stored refers to strategies for fighting pathogens. In recent years, due to advances in mathematical tools, there has been significant progress in immunological modelling, which revealed that the above similarity is much stronger than was expected. In this talk, I will discuss some of the recent results, and show how the connection between neural and immunological information processing has led to valuable new insight. 

     
  • 13:30 - 15:30
    TUTORIAL and PROJECTS

     

    Diogo Pata, Giovanni Maffe, Clement. Moulin Frier:  DAC - The Distributed Adaptive Control Brain Architecture. Theory and Practice.

    UPF, Barcelona

    Part 2: Prediction, action selection, and motor control.

    Ref: DAC - Distributed Adaptive Control: Theory and Practice

1
Sep 2017
  • 07:00 - 08:30
    Patrick Haggard: New approaches to volition and agency

    University College London, UK.

    All known societies have some concept of individual responsibility for action, and the capacity for voluntary action is considered a key feature of adult human mental life. Nevertheless, scientific studies of volition are controversial and suffer from several methodological difficulties. I will attempt to define voluntary action from a neurocognitive perspective, and discuss what happens in the brain prior to voluntary actions. I will report recent EEG studies that identify a consistent process of neural noise reduction in frontal areas prior to reasons-responsive, endogenous, voluntary actions. In the second part of my talk I will turn to the sense of agency: volition is arguably important only to the extent that it gives humans the capacity to transform their environment through their own actions: to make things happen. This capacity has a subjective aspect, called “sense of agency”, which I define as the feeling that one controls one’s own actions, and, through them, events in the external world. One school of psychological thought views sense of agency as the result of a predictive neural computation that compares predictions about the consequences of action with what actually happens. Another school views the sense of agency as a narrative, or even an illusion, that the mind composes retrospectively to explain what we find we have done. I will describe how an “implicit” measure of agency, based on the perceived temporal association between an action and its outcome, reveals both predictive and retrospective agency processing in the human brain. Next, I will show how the sense of agency reflects our ability to learn by experience to achieve our desired goals.

  • 08:30 - 09:00
    COFFEE BREAK
  • 09:00 - 10:30
    Leah Krubitzer: Cortical plasticity within and across lifetimes.

    University of California Davis, USA

  • 10:30 - 12:00
    John Doyle: Control Systems and the Brain

    Caltech, USA

  • 13:30 - 14:30
    TUTORIAL

    Scott Simon: Bio-inspired structural designs using microfluidic theory

    UC Davis, US

    My topic on biomimetics would be towards incorporating bioinspired structural designs using microfluidic theory and technology. Microfluidics, the techniques for constraining fluids on the micrometer and sub-micrometer scale, can provide 3-D functionality to mimic biologically inspired structural designs. I would review the current state of bio-microfluidic materials, designs, and applications. For example, biopolymers to enable bio-microfluidic devices with versatile functionalization chemistries, flexibility in fabrication, and biocompatibility in vitro and in vivo. Polymeric materials such as alginate, collagen, chitosan, and silk are being explored as bulk and film materials for bio-microfluidics. Hydrogels offer options for mechanically functional devices for microfluidic systems such as self-regulating valves. Pressure-driven microfluidics can be applied to transport cells-matrices with controlled flow rates. Layer-by-layer microfluidics can be used to build multilayers of cell–matrix inside a microchannel and the thickness of each layer can be controlled down to microscale dimensions to fabricate hierarchical “neotissues” with controlled microarchitectures and 3-D configurations of multiple cell types.

3
Sep 2017
  • 22:00 - 22:00
    WEEK 2

    The 2nd week of the school will address Learning and Memory, Brain function and Behavior

4
Sep 2017
  • 07:30 - 09:00
    Edvard Moser: Grid cells and the entorhinal positioning system

    Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Trondheim, Norway

    The medial entorhinal cortex is part of a neural system for mapping of self-location. One of the first components to be detected in this internal map was the grid cell. Grid cells fire electric impulses when animals are at particular locations that together tile the environment in a periodic hexagonal pattern, like in a Chinese checkerboard. The medial-entorhinal circuit of grid cells was soon found to include a wider spectrum of functional cell types, such as head direction cells, speed cells, and border cells, intermingled among the grid cells. In this lecture, I will show that additional specialized cell types are present when spatial behavior is tested in environments with salient objects or landmarks. A subset of medial entorhinal cells fires in a vector-like manner at distinct distances and directions from objects inserted in the recording enclosure, irrespective of where in the enclosure the object is located, and irrespective of the identity of the object. I will next show that grid cells retain spatial relationships not only across recording environments but also from awake exploration to sleep, consistent with the idea that grid cells, and the entorhinal network as a whole, are part of a network-generated attractor-like representation of local space. Finally, I will discuss possible roles of inhibitory networks in this representation and show that different functional cell types may be regulated by distinct classes of GABAergic interneurons.

  • 09:00 - 09:30
    COFFEE BREAK
  • 09:30 - 11:00
    Giacomo RIzzolatti; From mirror neurons to the “mirror brain”.
    The University of Parma, IT
     
    Mirror mechanism is a basic neural mechanism that transforms sensory representations of others’ actions into motor representations of the same actions in the brain of the observer. In the first part of my talk, I will describe the functions of the mirror mechanism located in the parieto-frontal network of monkeys and humans. I will show that this mechanism enables one to understand others in an immediate, phenomenological way, without recourse to cognitive inferential processing.  In the second part of my talk, I will discuss the role of the mirror mechanism in understanding basic Darwinian emotions. I will focus on disgust, fear, and joy and will demonstrate the role of the mirror mechanism in the empathic experience of these emotions, contrasting it to mere recognition. The data on emotions will lead me to the last part of my talk where I will present stereo-EEG data on action recognition. Stereo-EEG allows one to go beyond the static three-dimensional maps obtained with fMRI a providing a four dimensional picture (space plus time) of brain activations during different types of actions.
     
    Istituto di Neuroscienze, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – CNR, Parma, Italy;
Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università di Parma, Italy.
     
5
Sep 2017
  • 07:00 - 08:30
    Cyriel Pennartz: New vistas on consciousness, multisensory interactions and memory: theory and experiment

    University of Amsterdam, NL

    This seminar will pay attention to three topics that have traditionally been treated separately but are deeply intertwined on closer inspection. We will first consider basic requirements for generating conscious experiences set in different modalities given the uniform nature of signal transmission from the periphery to the brain. This will lead us to reflect on interactions between sensory modalities, and between sensory modalities and memory, in relation to the brain’s world-modelling activities. Experiments will be presented suggesting that the primary sensory cortices are less “unimodal” than previously thought. Along with empirical studies, a new computational model will be reviewed, suggesting how deep sensory hierarchies can perform inference on hidden causes underlying sensory inputs they process. At their highest level, sensory cortices feed into systems for episodic memory: how are multisensory streams of information processed by medial temporal lobe structures? To what kind of neural coding does this confluence of information lead in the rhinal cortices (specifically perirhinal cortex) and hippocampus? We will review experiments in which rats observe mini-robot behavior and ask whether the hippocampus purely codes self-parameters or also information about other beings. Finally, I will integrate the foregoing approaches in a vision for moving forward in cognitive and systems neuroscience. It will be argued that a productive way forward comes from thinking about representations as set across different levels of computation and representation, ranging from cells to ensembles, multi-area networks and yet larger representational aggregates.

  • 08:30 - 09:00
    COFFEE BREAK
  • 09:00 - 10:30
    Neil Burgess: Neural mechanisms of spatial cognition and episodic memory

    Inst of Cognitive Neuroscience University College London, UK

    The discovery of place cells, grid cells, head-direction cells and boundary vector cells allows the construction of a neural level model of spatial memory, bridging from electrophysiology in behaving rodents to behaviour, neuroimaging and neuropsychology in humans. I will discuss this model and related experimental data, including how spatial representations combine environmental sensory information with self-motion, potential roles for theta rhythmicity, and how perception or imagery interacts with mnemonic representations in the hippocampus. Finally, I will discuss how a single coherent spatial representation might be formed, and how grid cells in entorhinal cortex might relate to imagery, memory and planning.

    Bicanski A, Burgess N (2016) Environmental anchoring of head direction in a computational model of retrosplenial cortex. J Neurosci 36 11601-18.
    Carpenter F, Manson D, Jeffery K, Burgess N, Barry C (2015) Grid Cells Form a Global Representation of Connected Environments. Curr. Biol. 25: 1176-1182.
    Horner AJ, Bisby JA, Bush D, Lin WJ, Burgess N (2015) Evidence for holistic episodic recollection via hippocampal pattern completion. Nature Comms, 6: 7462
    Bush D, Burgess N (2014) A hybrid oscillatory interference / continuous attractor network model of grid cell firing. J. Neurosci., 34: 5065-5079.
    Burgess N, O’Keefe J (2011) Models of place and grid cell firing and theta rhythmicity. Curr Opin. Neurobiol. 21: 734-744.
    Doeller CF, Barry C, Burgess, N (2010) Evidence for grid cells in a human memory network. Nature 463 657- 661.
    Byrne P, Becker S, Burgess N (2007). Remembering the past and imagining the future: a neural model of spatial memory and imagery. Psychological Review 114 340-375.

     

  • 10:30 - 12:00
    Liset Menendez de la Prida: The hippocampus in depth: A deep-superficial perspective of CA1 function

    Institut Cajal CSIC, Madrid, ES

    Theta oscillations (4-12 Hz) and ripples (100-250 Hz) are considered two major on-line and off-line operating modes of the hippocampus. During encoding, theta acts to channel information in firing sequences organized across different oscillatory phases. Consolidation of relevant neuronal sequences occurs off-line during sharp-wave ripples. Recently, we and others have shown that CA1 function in the dorsal hippocampus is organized in sublayers, with deep and superficial pyramidal cells displaying specific features during ongoing hippocampal rhythms. Here I will review recent work from my lab to propose novel perspectives of hippocampal function.

6
Sep 2017
  • 07:00 - 08:30
    Francesca Cacucci: The post-natal development of hippocampal networks for memory and space.

    University College London, UK

    The hippocampal formation contains neurons whose firing represents a code for the position and orientation of an animal in space. Collectively, these cells are thought to constitute a neural map of space, or ‘cognitive map’ (Tolman, 1948; O’Keefe &Nadel, 1978), by means of which an animal can remember locations and navigate to goals. O’Keefe & Nadel (1978) suggested that the hippocampal cognitive map may represent a Kantian synthetic a priori system, not requiring extensive experience of space for its construction, which may, therefore, emerge early during post-natal development. Research by ourselves and others (Wills, Cacucci et al, 2010; Langston et al, 2010) confirmed that some components of the neural map are indeed set up early during post-natal development (e.g. Head Direction cells, which code for orientation), although others emerge only after extensive experience of exploration (e.g. Grid Cells, which may provide a distance metric for space). I will review recent work from my laboratory, focused on determining which sensory cues support the emergence of spatially responsive neurons, and which aspects of network development may proceed independently of sensory input.

  • 08:30 - 09:00
    COFFEE BREAK
  • 09:30 - 11:00
    Tony Prescott: The integration of sensing, attention and memory in mammals and robots

    University of Sheffield, UK

    We are guided in where we explore next by what we already know and by what further information we wish to obtain. Exploratory sensing is therefore deeply constrained by memory. In Sheffield, we are investigating the neural underpinnings of attention, decision making, and spatial memory in relation to mammalian active touch. We employ a range of approaches including (i) ethological studies of rodent active vibrissal (whisker) sensing, (ii) systems-level computational neuroscience modelling, and (iii) biomimetic robotics.  The goal of this research is to develop a model of the control architecture of the brain—integrating sensing, attention and memory—that generates exploratory behaviour in mammal-like robots similar to that seen in behaving animals.  This talk will report on the current status of this project, outlining our current hypotheses concerning brain architecture, and demonstrating life-like behaviour in a number of robot platforms.

  • 11:00 - 12:00
    BCBT PROJECTS

    OVERWIEW

7
Sep 2017
  • 07:30 - 09:30
    Paul Verschure: The Distributed Adaptive Control of goal oriented beahavior

    Universitat Pompeu Fabra, ICREA, IBEC, ES

  • 09:00 - 09:30
    COFFEE BREAK
  • 09:30 - 11:00
    Belen Rubio. Motor learning and recovery after stroke: improvement, retention, and generalization

    Universitat Pompeu Fabra, ES

    One of the latest approaches in the rehabilitation of a wide range of deficits of the nervous system is based on the use of virtual reality (VR), which combines training scenarios with dedicated interface devices. It must be emphasized, however, that so far little work exists on the quantitative assessment of the clinical impact of VR based approaches. In this presentation, we will cover a number of studies that investigate the potential of VR technologies for motor recovery after stroke. 

8
Sep 2017
  • 07:30 - 11:00
    Students Presentations
  • 09:00 - 09:30
    COFFEE BREAK
  • 11:00 - 11:00
    School Ends

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