Speaker: Prof. Aki Vehtari Affiliation: Dept. of Computer Science, Aalto University
Bayesian Probabilistic Programming
I present how Bayesian probabilistic programming makes modeling and data
analysis easier. Probabilistic programming makes it easy to go beyond classic
statistical tests or pre-defined models, enabling to focus on the actual
question you want to answer and often leading to new questions. I discuss some
modeling ideas and challenges in context of brain research.
Speaker: Prof. Iiro Jääskeläinen Affiliation: Dept. of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering
Family ethnic-cultural background shapes brain activity and associations elicited during listening to an audiobook
We studied whether the shared family ethnic-cultural background increases similarity in how the brain processes an audiobook. 48 healthy subjects, half with majority and half with the minority ethnic-cultural family background, listened to 71-min audiobook during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of brain hemodynamic activity at 20-times faster-than-conventional temporal sampling rate. There were protagonists of both ethnic cultural backgrounds in the drama-genre audiobook alternating between portrayals of social relationships and city scenery amidst changing seasons. Subsequently, the audiobook was replayed to subjects in segments, and they were to list words best describing what had been on their minds as they initially heard the segment during fMRI. Significant within-group enhancements in cosine similarity of the word lists within a semantic vector space based on a large internet-text corpus suggested that the shared family ethniccultural background increased similarity in the meanings elicited by the audiobook. Further, there were significant within-group increases in inter-subject correlation (ISC) of brain hemodynamic activity in the left superior temporal and Heschl’s gyri, bilateral middle temporal gyri, lateral occipital cortex, and precuneus. The lateral-temporal ISC effects suggest that the family ethnic-cultural background increased similarity in processing of the audiobook at the level of individual words and sentences, ISC effects in visual cortical areas suggests increased within-group similarity in visual imagery elicited by the audiobook and, finally, ISC effects in precuneus suggest that the family ethnic-cultural background enhanced similarity in how narrative-level information was processed by the brain. In a separate session, subjects' brain activity was recorded also during MEG/EEG during listening to the audiobook, these data are currently being analyzed.
Computational Rationality: Convergence of AI, robotics, neurosciences, and cognitive science
This talk surveys recent progress in computational rationality, cognitive modelling that is based on the idea that cognitive behaviours are generated by behavioral policies that are optimally adapted to the processing limits of a cognitive architecture (Gershman, Horvitz, & Tenenbaum, 2015; Griffiths, Lieder, & Goodman, 2015; Howes et al., 2009; Richard L. Lewis, Howes, & Singh, 2014). In contrast to cognitive architectures such as ACT-R, which encourage hand-coding of behavioral policies, computational rationality assumes that these policies emerge from the limitations of the specified cognitive architecture. As a framework for modelling cognition, computational rationality has been heavily influenced by rational analysis, a method for explaining behavior in terms of utility.
Brain science needs computational science: the past, the present and the future in Otaniemi
In this first talk of the series I will tell about my vision to strengthen multidisciplinary collaborations in Otaniemi between neuroscientists and computational scientists. I will provide an overview of the successful history of brain science in Otaniemi which has involved multidisciplinary collaborations between brain scientists, computer scientists and physicists since the very beginning. But how can we take things forward? I will propose some solutions for increasing fruitful multidisciplinary collaborations with neuroscientists at Aalto and conclude with some open unsolved questions to stimulate future discussions.
Speaker: Enrico Glerean Affiliation: Dept. of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, Aalto University