The Weinberg Institute is pleased to announce the Foundations & Frontiers Speaker Series, which will host its first event on October 30.

The new series brings leading cognitive scientists to U-M to present a special pair of presentations on the same day. The first presentation serves as an introduction to an important theoretical idea or method in the field -- the Foundations. The second presentation concerns the application of that idea or method to an innovative topic, thus exploring the Frontiers of the field in a way that highlights the significance of the theoretical idea.

Guest speaker Dr. Frederike Petzschner is a Carney Institute Fellow in the Center for Computational Brain Science and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University. She will give two virtual presentations on October 30, each followed by a Q&A opportunity. (Zoom access:  Passcode: 836999)

A Brief History of Computation (Foundations Presentation)
Our notion of what the capabilities and function of the brain and mind are has evolved fundamentally in the past century. As a result, we have moved from early Psychophysics to Behaviorism to the Cognitive Revolution, when theories of computation entered the forefront of modern Cognitive Science. This history and the fundamental questions posed at different times provide a great deal of insight into our modern thinking and paves the way where the field might take us in the future. In this lecture, I will try to provide a short guide through the history of computation and discuss what could be learned from it.

Computational Approaches for Mental Health (Frontiers Presentation)
The growing field of Computational Psychiatry provides a prime example of how theories of computation may provide not only insights into the function of healthy minds but also mental disorders. In this lecture, I will discuss three examples of where we apply computational methods to understand learning, perception or decision-making in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Gambling Addiction and Disorders of Interoception.

Watch the Video (Oct. 30, 2020)

Upcoming Events

During the Winter 2021 semester, Dr. Sydney Levine will be the featured speaker. Dr. Levine is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT and the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. 

Presentation Schedule (EST)

11:00 - 11:30 am. Foundations presentation
11:30 - 11:45 am Q&A
11:45 am - 12:35 pm Frontiers presentation
12:35 - 1:00 pm. Q&A

Q&A Protocol
Please save any questions for the Q&A periods. If you would like to ask a question, please use the ‘Raise Hand’ feature of Zoom. If you have a follow-up question, please use the green ‘Yes’ feature of Zoom. I will manage the queue and call on participants in the order in which hands are raised. Once called upon, unmute your mic and ask your question. If you are unsure about how to use the ‘Raise Hand’ feature, you can refer to the following:

Watch for details to come!