Free energy and active inference - Karl Friston

Wednesday, 11 September, 2013 - 09:30 to 11:00

How much about our interaction with – and experience of – our world can be deduced from basic principles? This talk reviews recent attempts to understand the self-organised behaviour of embodied agents, like ourselves, as satisfying basic imperatives for sustained exchanges with the environment. In brief, one simple driving force appears to explain many aspects of action and perception.

Goal encoding and monitoring in Monkey Prefrontal cortex - Aldo Genovesio

Tuesday, 10 September, 2013 - 09:30 to 11:00
A rich body of studies has shown that the prefrontal cortex has a fundamental role in the generation of goal directed behavior. I will present recent evidence on the role of the
Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex in encoding goals prospectively and in maintain them in memory for future use once they are accomplished. I will discuss previous results that 

Decision Making and Planning as Probabilistic Inference. Marc Toussaint

Thursday, 12 September, 2013 - 09:30 to 11:00

I'll first give a general introduction on formalizing planning (more precisely Stochastic Optimal Control problems) in terms of probabilistic inference (more precisely: KL divergence minimization), providing a unifying perspective of previous approaches. I'll then focus on novel algorithms that can be derived from this formulation, including an efficient model-free RL algorithm that I find very interesting.

Reasoning, learning and exploration in human decision-making - Etienne Koechlin

Monday, 9 September, 2013 - 11:30 to 13:00

In this talk, I will review our recent work using computational modeling and  neuroimaging aiming at providing a comprehensive description of the functional and computational organization of the human prefrontal function underpinning 

Hippocampus, striatum and beyond: interweaving motivation with action, memory and perception - Cyriel Pennartz

Thursday, 12 September, 2013 - 11:30 to 13:00

In this talk I will begin with addressing different kinds of motivation and its sources, from homeostatic drives to exploration of novel environments and the pursuit of cues and contexts that are predictive of beneficial outcome. The topic of cue- and context-based reward predictions will be deepened by looking at the systems neurophysiology of the hippocampus and ventral striatum, which have been implicated in episodic memory and learned motivated behavior, but which are nonetheless intimately connected.

Bidirectional interactions between the brain and implantable computers. Eberhard E. Fetz

Friday, 6 September, 2013 - 09:30 to 11:00

We are investigating the consequences of bidirectional connections produced by an autonomous implantable recurrent brain-computer interface [R-BCI] that operates continuously during free behavior and generates activity-dependent stimulation of the brain or muscles. This device consists of battery-powered electronics connected to electrodes that record the activity of motor cortex cells and/or muscles. The neural activity is processed by a programmable computer chip and can be converted in real-time to activity-contingent stimuli delivered to nervous system sites or muscles.


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