[spectre] Fwd: Talk: HCI / Neuro-science by Gonçalo Lopes from UCL / NeuroGears

C. Honnet cedric at honnet.eu
Tue Dec 5 09:14:24 CET 2017

For those in Paris next week, his work includes a good part of interactive

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "C. Honnet" <cedric at honnet.eu>
Date: Dec 5, 2017 7:56 AM
Subject: Talk: HCI / Neuro-science by Gonçalo Lopes from UCL / NeuroGears
To: <isir_all at isir.upmc.fr>, <sigchi-paris-members at listserv.acm.org>
Cc: <g.lopes at ucl.ac.uk>

Hi all,
On *Wed. 13th *at* 11AM*, we'll have a talk by Dr Gonçalo Lopes, a software
engineer who became neuroscientist, and who's now transitioning from post
doc <http://kampff-lab.org> to startup founder <http://neurogears.org>. You
might meet him around ISIR in the 2 preceding days as we'll be working on
the HiveTracker <https://hivetracker.github.io/>, our miniature 3d
positioning system.

*Details*: hci.isir.upmc.fr/news/guest-talk-goncalo-lopes-from

*Registration (free):*
We're trying to estimate how many people will join the talk, so we would be
very grateful if you can register here:

*Title:* "What Neuroscience taught me about Robotics"

*Abstract: *I have been trying to build autonomous real-time intelligent
systems for more than ten years. This took me from computer science
academia into applied research, but the goal of synthesizing autonomous
behavior adapted to the external environment remained elusive. An
opportunity then presented itself to join a rising multidisciplinary PhD
program in Systems Neuroscience. In this talk, I will present the two major
outputs that resulted from this six-year experience. First, the engineering
challenges of measuring brain physiology in freely moving animals resulted
in the development of Bonsai, a visual programming language for the rapid
prototyping of reactive systems. Second, I will discuss the results of our
investigations into the role of motor cortex. We investigated the behavior
of rats facing various motor problems, with or without motor cortex.
Surprisingly, we found that rats lacking the entire motor cortex do not
show any obvious movement impairments. Indeed, their performance is
entirely on par with controls, even in dynamic environments, except when
presented with unexpected motor challenges that demand fast and flexible
readjustment of the entire motor system to a new situation -- the kind of
challenges where robots also dramatically fail. If given the opportunity to
train and repeat the challenging situation over and over, even rats without
motor cortex will be able to learn how to adapt and optimize their behavior
to overcome the obstacles. It is the resilience and robustness to
unexpected failures of control -- when the actual motor problem needs to be
framed all over again -- that seems to be one of the primordial roles of
mammalian motor cortex.

*Bio*: Gonçalo is a software engineer turned neuroscientist, fascinated by
the behaviour of intelligent systems. With a background of applied research
in virtual and augmented reality, parallel processing and autonomous
agents, he joined the Champalimaud Neuroscience program in 2010, hoping to
find better ways of building machines that learn by themselves. Gonçalo
completed his PhD with Adam Kampff and Joe Paton, trying to understand the
role of motor cortex in the control of movement in non-primate mammals.
Along the way, he extended his experience making interactive systems to
rodents and other animal models. Gonçalo developed the Bonsai visual
programming language as a way to rapidly prototype interactive neuroscience
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