Thursday, November 19, 2015

AUTUMN 2015 Lectures Series (No.5): Computational cognitive neuroscience: From neurons to behavior

Date & Time: Friday, 27 Nov., 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Venue: Rm 202, Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences Education, NYMU

About the theme

How does the brain control behavior? What do neural circuits compute? The field of cognitive neuroscience is thriving thanks to advances in neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuroimaging, and cognitive psychology. Given the rich set of empirical observations aggregated from these fields, an emerging challenge is to provide a unified theory that relates different levels of analysis, explaining how neural systems in the brain give rise to intelligent human behavior. Computational cognitive neuroscience addresses the above questions by studying neural representations and mechanisms from a theoretical perspective. It can offer new insights beyond brain-behavior correlations. One example is the application of machine learning/pattern recognition techniques to brain data for understanding neural representations and for developing brain-computer interfaces. Another example is the class of neural models that construct system-level architectures from the first principles, such as local computation and competitive normalization. These computational models can quantitatively simulate cognitive functions using plausible neural mechanisms and explain seemingly conflicting data in a coherent framework. In this presentation, differences among computational approaches in (cognitive) neuroscience will be contrasted. The past, present, and future of computational cognitive neuroscience will also be discussed.

About the speaker

Tsung-Ren Huang (黃從仁) 
Department of Psychology Neurobiology and Cognitive Science Center 
National Taiwan University

Monday, November 16, 2015

Workshop on Body Perception, Ownership, and Awareness(Updated)

Monday (Nov 30), National Yang-Ming University, Institute of Philosophy of Mind and Cognition, Education Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, 201 & 202

International  MOST-DAAD Project “Self-Consciousness and Multisensory Integration: Philosophical and Neuroscientific Perspectives” – Workshop on Body Perception, Ownership, and Awareness
10:00-10:15 Welcome & Opening Remarks - Allen Houng (Institute of Philosophy of Mind and Cognition, NYMU)
10:15-11:00 Hong Yu Wong (Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, Philosophy of Neuroscience Group, University of Tübingen, Germany)
A Sense of Body Ownership
11:00-11:15 Discussion - Chair: Aleksandra Mroczko-Wasowicz  (Institute of Philosophy of Mind and Cognition, NYMU)
11:15-11:30 Break
11:30-12:15 Krisztina Orban (Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, Philosophy of Neuroscience Group, University of Tübingen, Germany)
Me or not me? The fundamental difference between the self and the other
12:15-12:30 Discussion - Chair: Caleb Liang (Department of Philosophy, NTU)
12:30-14:00 Round-table talks + lunch


Title: A Sense of Body Ownership

Hong Yu Wong

Abstract: Our bodies and our sense of embodiment are critical to our sense of ourselves as material beings (Cassam 1997, Longuenesse 2006). One prominent strand of research on embodiment concerns the sense of ownership that we have over our bodies. The key questions are how to understand this sense of ownership, and what its function is. I begin by characterising the sense of body ownership and its relation to basic forms of bodily awareness, such as proprioception (Martin 1995, de Vignemont 2007, Peacocke 2014). A major issue is the shape of a constitutive account and its status with respect to pathologies where it is compromised, such as somatoparaphrenia and alien limb syndrome (Vallar and Ronchi 2009, de Vignemont 2007 and 2011). A second question is the function of the sense of body ownership. I will focus on how the sense of body ownership affects agency and the sense of agency – in health and in pathologies such as anosognosia for hemiplegia (Berti et al. 2005, Baier and Karnath 2008, Tsakiris and Fotopoulou 2013). In this talk, I will sketch an account of body ownership that diverges from the three major accounts and discuss its significance for action and sense of agency.

Title: Me or not me? The fundamental difference between the self and the other

Krisztina Orbán

Abstract: I will argue that there are four features of the first person phenomenon which has to be accounted for in the fundamental understanding of ‘I’. The first will be the radical asymmetry between the first person perspective and third person perspective or other perspectives (2nd person). This idea has its roots in Perry’s notion of cognitive significance. The second will be privacy which can be found in Frege, Shoemaker, Evans and Recanati, but I will introduce a new version of this criterion. I will try to find what unifies any sensory experience, including experiences involving virtual reality. My notion of experience will be neutral on whether it is a perceptual experience, experience in a virtual reality set up, or another kind of experience. However, I will distinguish between internal (e.g. proprioception) and external (e.g. vision, audition, touch) experience. I will point out an asymmetry in internal and external experience in order to understand privacy. I will provide some reasons to believe that the reference fixing rule for ‘I’ cannot render any of these necessary features contingent. In light of this, I will criticize existing views on what fixes the referent of ‘I’. I will discuss the token reflexive rule for ‘I’, the fundamental reference rule for ‘I’, the demonstrative model for ‘I’ and subjectless views of ‘I’. I will show that none of them is able to account for all the necessary features of ‘I’.