Symposium on Multidisciplinary Approaches to Understanding the Mind and Brain

Marriott Hotel, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

May 9-11, 2010

Photo Gallery


Forty five years ago in a landmark book, Michael Arbib proposed that a synergistic understanding of Brains, Machines and their underlying Mathematical principles could potentially provide rich insights into the very nature of behavior and the Mind. Decades before the birth of what are now known as Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics, Arbib predicted that computational modeling would revolutionize the way we think about the nervous system, from a frog's eye to human language. This symposium will bring together a wide range of researchers from all over the world to take stock of the progress achieved in the past 50 years, and discuss the new directions the field may take in the next decades.

Also see the article in UA news.

Important Dates

  • Submission of Abstract and Title, April 1, 2010
  • Early registration, April 9, 2010
  • Registration: $70. Free for faculty, postdocs and students from UA.
    Banquet: $30/person (Free for student volunteers)
    The program committee is looking for student volunteers to help with logistics during the meeting. Please contact Sam Frisby (sdfrisby08 at


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Registration and reception (6:30pm)

Monday, May 10, 2010 (Pima room)

8:00-8:30 Registration, coffee and cakes
8:30-9:00 Leslie Tolbert (Vice President for Research) and Anthony Lewis (University of Arizona): Welcoming remarks
9:10-9:40 Hava Siegelmann (University of Massachussetts, Amherst): Dynamics of Multistage Circadian System and Applications to JetLag
9:50-10:20 Péter Érdi (Kalamazoo College; Phys. Hung. Aacd. Sci.): Dynamic Approach to the Pathological Brain
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-11:30 Carolee Winstein and Schweighofer, Nicolas (Univ. Southern California) : Combining computational models and clinical effectiveness data to predict the effects of rehabilitation after stroke
11:45-1:00 Lunch
1:00-1:30 Irwin King (The Chinese University of Hong Kong): From Neural Networks to Social Networks with a Detour on Human Computation
1:40 -2:10 Aude Billard (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland): Imitation Learning in Animals and Robots
2:20-2:50 John Hildebrand (University of Arizona) : Learning from Insect Brains
3:00 – 3:20 Break
3:20-3:50 DeLiang Wang (Ohio State University, USA): What the frog eye tells the human ear
4:00-4:30 Uwe Seifert (University of Cologne, Germany): Cognitive Musicology: A Computational and Comparative Approach to the Musical Mind
4:40-5:10 Patricia Zukow-Goldring (Univ. California, Los Angeles): Helping Hands Nurture a Common Understanding: Does Caregiver-Infant Interaction Foster the Emergence of Gesture?
5:20-5:50 Tom Bever (University of Arizona): Computational Dynamics, Cerebral Asymmetries and Familial Handedness
6:00-8 :00 Dinner
8:00pm Keynote lecture: Michael Arbib (Univ. Southern California): From Schema Theory and Rana computatrix to the Language-Ready Brain

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 (Pima room)

8:00-8:30 Registration, coffee and cakes
8:30-9:00 Jean-Marc Fellous (University of Arizona): Can rats solve the traveling salesperson problem?
9:10-9:40 Ananda Weerasuriya (Mercer University, Macon, GA): Development and flexibility of the anuran prey capture motor program
9:50-10:20 CANCELED- Mihail Bota (Univ. Southern California): Neuroinformatic Approaches to Structure-Function Relationships of Mammalian Brain Parts
10:30-10:40 Break
10:40-11:10 Jack Cowan (University of Chicago): A new approach to the modeling of large-scale brain activity
11:20-11:50 Alfredo Weitzenfeld (Univ. South Florida Polytechnic): Spatial Memory and Learning: Towards a Set of Metrics to Evaluate Task Performance in Rats and Robots
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-1:30 Carme Torras (Institut de Robòtica, Barcelona, Spain): The Brain Theory roots of Cognitive Robotics
1:40 -2:10 Peter Dominey (CNRS, Lyon, France): A Perspective on Systems Neuroscience : From Saccade to Embodied Robot Cognition
2:20-2:50 Andrew Fagg (University of Oklahoma): Learning to connect eyes, hands and objects
3:00-3:20 Break
3:20-3:50 Paul Cohen (University of Arizona): Simulation as Reasoning
4:00-4:30 Damian Lyons (Fordham University, NY): A Visual Imagination Approach to Cognitive Robotics
4:40-5:10 Bipin Indurkhya (IIIT Hyderabad, India): Perceptual Similarity, Visual Metaphors, Creativity and Computers
5:20-5:50 Ronald Arkin (Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA): Ethics and Lethality in Autonomous Combat Robots
6:00-8 :00 Dinner
8:00pm Keynote lecture: Michael Arbib (Univ. Southern California): 50 Years of Brains, Machines, and Mathematics – and a Lot of Marvelous People

Program Committee

  • Anthony Lewis, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA - local organizer
  • Jean-Marc Fellous, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA - local organizer
  • DeLiang Wang, Ohio State University, USA
  • Irwin King, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Nicolas Schweighofer, University of Southern California, USA
  • Alfredo Weitzenfeld, USF Polytechnic, USA

Sponsors: College of Science, College of Engineering, BIO5 Institute, Office of the Vice President for Research.

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