The Brain Mapping Initiatives: Foundational Issues



On December 6-7, New York University will host a conference devoted to foundational issues raised by recent brain mapping initiatives, such as the BRAIN initiative, the Human Brain project, the Human Connectome Project, and the Allen Brain Atlas.  What can mapping the brain tell us about the human mind? What are the ethical implications? These issues will be discussed by leading cognitive neuroscientists and philosophers.

The conference is co-sponsored by the NYU Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness and the NYU Center for Bioethics. It will be held from 1:00PM Friday, December 6th through 6:00PM Saturday, December 7th.

Download the conference schedule, here.

Conference Videos


PART I: THE SCIENCE OF THE INITIATIVES

Rafael Yuste "The Brain Activity Map: Implications for Science and Society"



Sean Hill "The Human Brain Project: An Overview"                                   
 


Tony Zador "Sequencing the Connectome"

PART II: PHILOSOPHERS ON THE INITIATIVES

Patricia Churchland "Cross-Level Linkages in Neurobiology:
Why Naysaying Philosophers Should be Very Afraid"



Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Felipe De Brigard
“What Can the BRAIN Initiative Teach Us About Cognition?

PART III: THEORETICAL ISSUES

Cori Bargmann "How Many Maps of the Brain Do We Need?"


Gary Marcus "Beyond Hubel and Wiesel"

Tony Movshon "Structure and Function in Systems Neuroscience"

PART IV: ETHICAL ISSUES

Nita Farahany "Privacy, Self, and the Brain"


Anders Sandberg "Virtual Babies and Animals: The Ethics of Large Scale Neural Simulations"

PART VI: PANEL DISCUSSION

Panel Discussion, Part I



Panel Discussion, Part II

Location Details:

FRIDAY SESSIONS*
Hemmerdinger Hall, Silver Center
100 Washington Square East, Ground Floor
New York University, New York, NY 10003

*Check in will begin at 12:15 on Friday, and will take place in Silverstein Lounge on the ground floor of Silver Center, 100 Washington Square East, New York University.

SATURDAY SESSIONS*
Greenberg Lounge, Vanderbilt Hall, 40 Washington Square South
New York University, New York, NY 10012

*Check in will begin at 9:00AM on Saturday in the lobby outside of Greenberg Lounge.

Organizing Committee:
Ned Block, David Chalmers, S. Matthew Liao, Gary Marcus.

Speakers:
Cori Bargmann (Rockefeller University), Patricia Churchland (UC San Diego), Nita Farahany (Duke University), Sean Hill (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology is Lausanne), Gary Marcus (NYU), Anthony Movshon (NYU), Anders Sandberg (Oxford University), Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (Duke University), Felipe De Brigard (Duke University), Rafael Yuste (Columbia University), Anthony Zador (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories)

Background: Earlier this year, President Obama announced funding for the BRAIN Initiative, which aims to develop new technologies to map neural activity throughout the brain in non-human animals and ultimately in humans.  The initiative complements other major brain mapping projects, including the Human Brain Project (funded by the European Union), whose aims include developing technology to simulate a human brain, the Human Connectome Project (funded by the National Institute for Health), which aims to map the connectivity of the human brain, and the Allen Brain Atlas (funded by the Allen Institute for Brain Science), which aims to map gene expression in the mouse and human brains.

These brain mapping initiatives raise numerous foundational issues. Some issues are epistemological: what can brain mapping tell us about states of the mind?  Some issues are theoretical: how can brain mapping data be integrated with psychological theories?  There also profound ethical issues: for example, what are the implications of brain mapping for privacy and for the control of behavior? The conference will discuss all these issues in depth.

Registration is free but required. Please RSVP at http://goo.gl/1yVLp9

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