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The Human Brain Project: Neurorobotics Sub-Project Workshop

Does the Brain Need a Body to be a Brain?

An International Workshop – Barcelona, Spain

8th-9th March, 2018

Venue, Travel, Hotels

Neuroscience research is learning more and more about the details of how the brain works. Biologically plausible artificial neural networks attempt to simulate brain functioning, and detailed computer simulations of parts of the brain exist, producing results that conform to experimental data from real brains. However, can attempts to simulate the workings of the brain ever be successful unless the simulation includes at its core interaction between the brain and the body that it controls? Scientists and philosophers have speculated about the feasibility of a ‘brain in a vat‘, one disconnected from the world, except for outputs that enable external monitoring or inputs such as electrical simulation. While such a brain would function, in the sense that it would respond to stimuli and its own network connectivity would by itself produce complex patterns of activity – useful for understanding how the connectivity works – would this be anything whatsoever like a real brain, or just a machine, a black-box where a set of inputs results in a set of outputs? The Neurorobotics Sub-Project of the Human Brain Project attempts to provide robotic bodies for simulated brains. This approach is not only of great scientific value, but also reaches for a radically new way to design robot intelligence.

This workshop brings together experts from within and outside the Human Brain Project to discuss the relationship between brain and body from the point of view of philosophy, neuroscience, computer science, engineering and robotics. Each topic will be introduced by an expert in the field followed by debate and discussion.

Attendees will learn about the Neurorobotics Sub-Project of the Human Brain Project in particular and about the fundamental scientific and practical questions that the brain-body relationship raises. They will have the chance to ask questions and debate with the expert speakers.

Programme

REGISTER HERE

Thursday 8th March

11:00 Registration

Please bring your Eventbrite Registration.

Lunch during this period will be at attendees’ own expense.
Guidance to nearby places will be given.


13:30 Mel Slater
Introduction: Virtual reality and the brain-body relationship


14:00 Florian Roehrbein (HPB SP10 Speaker)
Neurorobotics in the Human Brain Project


15:00 Barry Smith
Bodies that think and feel, perceive and act


16:00 BREAK


16:30 Mavi Sanchez-Vives (HPB SP3 Speaker)
What the virtual body tells us about sensory processing and motor control


17:30 Patrick Haggard
Tools to change the world: the brain’s view of the body


18:30 Close


20:00 Dinner at Can Cortada (please do follow this link)



Friday 9th March

09:00 Frederique de Vignemont
The extended body hypothesis


10:00 Beatrice de Gelder
A bottom up perspective on embodiment


11:00 BREAK


11:30 Tony Prescott
Synthesizing the embodied self: A robotics perspective


12:30 Abderrahmane Kheddar
Are humanoids the ultimate quest of human augmentation?


13:30 LUNCH


15:00 Tamar Flash
Humans, brains and robots: motor compositionality and action-perception coupling


16:00 Postdoc Symposium Chaired by Florian Roehrbein
Robot-Human Symbiosis through brain interfaces (BCI) – Examples and Desirability
Laura Aymerich-Franch
In a robot’s body: What we learned from embodiment experiments
Sameer Kishore
Beaming to and brain control over a robot body
Arnau Espinosa
Brain computer interfaces and embodiment
Niceto Luque (HPB SP10 Speaker)
Cerebellum simulation towards embodiment


18:00 CLOSE


Support

This conference is supported by the Human Brain Project. The Human Brain Project is a H2020 FET Flagship Project which strives to accelerate the fields of neuroscience, computing and brain-related medicine.

Thanks to Irene Sanjuan Navais and Solene Neyret, Event Lab, University of Barcelona for their expert help in organising this event.

Thanks to Mavi Sanchez-Vives for help in the organisation of the programme.

Thanks to Florian Roehrbein for help from the HBP.

REGISTER HERE