[visionlist] Penn Undergraduate Summer Workshop in Cognitive Science

David Brainard brainard at psych.upenn.edu
Sat Feb 19 19:02:52 GMT 2005

7th Annual Penn Undergraduate Summer Workshop in Cognitive Science and 
Cognitive Neuroscience

Application Deadline March 15th, 2005.
Please visit http://www.ircs.upenn.edu/summer2005/ for details.

Each year, the cognitive science community at the University of 
Pennsylvania brings together undergraduate students from around the 
world to learn about the growing fields of cognitive science and 
cognitive neuroscience.

As a participant, you can:
   Hear lectures from distinguished researchers in the fields of 
cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience
   Participate in labs and lab tours involving some of the latest 
technologies and research methods
   Present your own work through our Student Poster Session (optional)
   Participate in panel discussions on the future of cognitive science 
and cognitive neuroscience

Examples of Labs and Tours:
   Cognitive Neurology Stroke Lab
   Event-Related Potential (ERP) Lab
   Free-Head Eye Tracking Lab in Language Processing
   Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) Lab
   Language Development Lab

Each of the two weeks of the workshop will be centered around a 
specific theme.
This year the weeks will have the following topics:


How did human language evolve?  How and why did human communication
change from a simple signaling system to the complex system we see
today?  How are languages created and learned, and how do languages
change from generation to generation?  These are some of the core
questions that drive communication research at Penn, which spans the
fields of anthropology, biology, computer science, neuroscience,
linguistics, psychology and philosophy.  In Week 1, we will sample
these various approaches to these questions.  And in doing so, we hope
to highlight the fact that these questions share an unexpected common
thread; they all involve understanding how complex systems change from
state to state over time, be it months, years, centuries or even
millennia.  Modeling these dynamics mathematically has become an
interest in all of these domains.  We will ask whether a set of
computational tools might be developed to form the basis of a common
'language' among communication researchers generally, facilitating the
exchange of ideas across the sub-disciplines of cognitive science.


Perceptual and cognitive systems are constantly faced with highly
ambiguous information, and yet reliably manage to interpret and act on
this information correctly.  Is this possible because our perceptual
and cognitive systems are tuned to the specific world that we evolved
and developed in?  In week 2, lectures and labs will focus on the
statistical properties of the world, how these can in principle be
exploited by information processing systems, and whether and how our
brains exploit them.   Specific topics are likely to include ambiguity
resolution and cue combination in vision, extraction of features from
environmental signals, how cognitive control mechanisms allow us to
adapt flexibly to changing properties of the environment, and the
neural basis of biological information processing.

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