Thursday, February 4, 2016

15th Neural Computation and Psychology Workshop

NCPW15 – August 8-9, 2016 – Philadelphia, PA, USA

Contemporary Neural Network Models:
Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Cognition

Funded by the W. K. & K. W. Estes Fund, Google DeepMind
and the Rumelhart Emergent Cognitive Functions Fund


Jay McClelland, Stefan Frank & Daniel Mirman

Confirmed Plenary Speakers

Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, Timothy Lillicrap, Andrew Saxe,
Linda Smith, Greg Wayne, & Marco Zorzi

Abstracts and Applications to Attend Due: April 1
Notification of Acceptance and Travel Awards: May 1


We are pleased to announce a workshop on Contemporary Neural Network Models, bringing the latest developments in Deep Neural Networks, Deep Reinforcement Learning Networks, and Recurrent Neural Networks with Long-Short-Term Memory Units into contact with contemporary cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience research.  Plenary speakers include established and emerging experts in the development of contemporary neural network methods. The workshop will continue the Neural Computation and Psychology Workshop series, which originated in the UK in 1992. It will take place on Aug 8-9, 2016 in Philadelphia – in North America for the first time after 14 previous meetings in Europe.

The Workshop has both a research dissemination and tutorial purpose. Research submissions are welcome for spoken and poster presentations in any area of computational research that applies neural network models or related approaches to understanding human cognition.  Both junior and senior scientists interested in learning more about the latest developments are encouraged to attend (space is limited and application is required) with or without making a presentation. Thanks to generous support, costs will be low and travel awards will encourage participation by a diverse population of participants with relevant goals.  A website hosted by Frontiers will provide submission and venue details by Feb 10; abstract submissions and applications to attend are due April 1 and applicants will be notified of acceptance and travel awards by May 1. [EDIT: new conference website]

NCPW15 will be complemented by a separate day-long tutorial on Wednesday, August 10, as part of the Cognitive Science Society meeting also in Philadelphia (pending acceptance by the Program Committee). This day-long event will provide additional tutorial presentations, followed by in depth how-to sessions associated with the actual implementation and effective practical mastery of deep learning networks for cognitive science research.

Workshop Program Overview

Each of the two days of the NCPW workshop will include three 75 minute sessions led by invited speakers (schedule attached). The first five of these sessions will each focus on a different aspect or topic in contemporary neural network research, and each will be led by a different expert.  The final session will begin with a commentary led by a senior Cognitive Scientist (Linda Smith) followed by a panel discussion with the other five speakers.  During lunch each day, the day’s speakers will each hold a smaller discussion session with a subset of the workshop participants, to allow in-depth discussion of their approach and perspective. Published papers or lecture notes will be circulated in advance to enhance participants’ background and engagement for these discussions.   Two 1.5-hour sessions each day will be devoted to submitted presentations selected for their scientific value and the extent to which they advance the use of neural network architectures, tools, and concepts in both computational and cognitive (neuro)science domains.   A poster session at the end of the first day will allow all of the participants an opportunity to present and obtain feedback from the invited speakers, and to learn from and network with each other.  A conference dinner on the first evening and a reception on the second evening will allow for informal interactions. 

Invited speakers

Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, MRC-CBU Cambridge, UK. Kriegeskorte has applied a deep convolutional neural network architecture to model human voxel-level activity patterns in different layers of visual cortex.

Marco Zorzi, University of PadovaZorzi has applied deep networks to modeling human numerosity judgment and reading and has developed tools for efficient implementation of these models.

Andrew Saxe, Harvard University.  Saxe has conducted mathematical analyses of deep neural network architectures leading to a conceptual understanding of the role of unsupervised pre-training and has applied these methods to the time course of cognitive and semantic development.

Greg Wayne, Google DeepMind. Wayne is one of the creators of the Neural Turing Machine, a Deep Learning Model that relies on the Long-Short-Term Memory mechanism for the storage and retrieval of information in memory.

Timothy Lillicrap, Google DeepMind.  Lillicrap is a leader in the development of Deep Reinforcement Learning methods that allow simulated agents to learn sophisticated continuous motor control policies.

Linda Smith, Indiana University. Smith is a thought-leader in the development of dynamical systems models an in the application of such models in cognitive development.

Participants, Travel Awards, and Costs

The target population is PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, and more advanced researchers at any level.  Both contributing researchers and non-presenting attendees are welcome to apply.  Contributing researchers will be selected based on a submitted research abstract, according to past policies of NCPW. Selection of non-presenting attendees will be based on the relevance of the workshop to the attendee’s goals as described in a short essay as well as a CV and, for junior scientist, a mentor’s letter of support. Both trainees and contributing researchers not selected for oral presentations have the option to present a poster in the poster session.  A total of 25 travel support awards ($250 domestic/$750 international) are available both for trainees and for contributing researchers to partially defray costs of attendance; support will be awarded the criteria above as well as need with attention to encouraging diversity.  There is no registration fee for accepted participants, and lunch on both days of the workshop will be covered for trainees and contributing researchers.  A low-price accommodation option ($50/night) will be available.

Additional travel information is available on the CogSci2016 page:

Application Process:  More detailed information on the application process and the venue will be made available at the frontiers website by Feb 10, 2016.  The deadline for paper and poster submissions and for applications to attend will be April 1, 2016, and notification of acceptance and travel awards for trainees and participating researchers will be on May 1, 2016.

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