BrainWorlds Freiburg-Oxford Workshop

Photo: Jürgen Gocke

The BrainWorlds Freiburg-Oxford Workshop on November 8-9th, 2023 has been an event of great scientific value for the BrainWorlds research initiative and the partnership between Freiburg and Oxford Universities.

All photos: Jürgen Gocke

Over 100 participants including several guests from our partner, the University of Oxford, gathered at IMBIT to discuss internal worlds models in animals, humans and artificial intelligence.
Professor Ilka Diester, the BrainWorlds spokesperson in chief and chair of the workshop organizing committee, welcomes her colleagues from Freiburg and Oxford, as well as the younger generation of scientists, to the NEXUS Lab Venue.
A well-balanced mixture of 9 presentations from Oxford and 15 presentations from Freiburg explored and discussed the concept of internal worlds models from the points of view of systems and computational neuroscience, AI and robot learning, psychology and human psychiatry.
Junior Professor Monika Schönauer explains how prior knowledge about the structure of our environment supports new learning and the formation of stable neocortical representations. 
On the second day, we were privileged to receive a special visit from the Rector of the University of Freiburg, Professor Kerstin Krieglstein, a neuroscientist and anatomist, who addressed the participants and expressed her support for the BrainWorlds initiative both administratively and conceptually.
Ethical implications are crucial for BrainWorlds: History-of-science expert Professor Veronika Lipphardt (pictured, left) prompted us to consider public perception of our scientific endeavours.
The workshop included a special session addressing the needs of early career researchers. Dr. Nicole Rosskothen-Kuhl und Dr. Julia Veit discussed how BrainWorlds can support the next generation of scientists.
Lively discussions and networking continued during the lunch and coffee breaks.
In the evening, FreiDOG demonstrated its fine motor skills together with “Akaishi Daiko”, a traditional Japanese drums ensemble. The robot was choreographed to dance to the drum beats by the Robot Learning Lab of Professor Abhinav Valada, Faculty of Engineering, University of Freiburg.

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