FENS Summer School on ‘Artificial and natural computations for sensory perception: what is the link?’

Bertinoro, Italy

Attendance type(s): In Person

Event Dates: 22—28 May 2022


Picture © DeepArt.io

Recent advances in machine learning have yielded deep neural network models with impressive performance in artificial perception, based in part on principles established by experimental studies of sensory neuroscience. This is an exciting time for research in this field, as such models provide quantitative theories for the key computations that give rise to perception in biological sensory systems. However, unlike brains, current deep neural network models are often brittle and do not generalize well to new situations. At the same time, many structural and functional aspects of real sensory systems appear to be incompatible with the very simple design of neural networks used in artificial intelligence (AI).

In this school, we will discuss analogies and discrepancies between sensory system computations and artificial intelligence models and how the two fields can interact more to advance each other. A set of international lectures will provide an overview of modern algorithms in artificial intelligence and recent breakthroughs in the neural mechanisms of sensory perception.

The students will also learn how to practically implement machine learning tools from recent AI technologies, such as deep neural networks, and to apply them in concrete example relevant for neuroscience experimental or theoretical research.

Please note that this school will require pre-school preparations in programmes such as Python. More information will be provided shortly.

! Due to the COVID-19 crisis, this Summer School was canceled in 2021 and rescheduled to 2022.

Scientific Chairs


Brice Bathellier
Institut de l’Audition, Institut Pasteur, France


Andrew King
Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, University of Oxford, UK


Andreas Tolias
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA

Faculty members

Michael Brecht, Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
Na Ji, University of California Berkeley, USA
Jennifer Linden, The Ear Institute, Faculty of Brain Sciences, UCL, UK
Alexander Mathis, EPFL, Switzerland
Josh McDermott, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT MA, USA
Maneesh Sahani, Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, UCL, UK
Edgar Y. Walker, University of Washington, USA
Dan Yamins, Departments of Psychology and Computer Science, Stanford University, USA
Adrienne Fairhall, University of Washington, USA
Wieland Brendel, University of Tübingen, Germany

Contact Details

Name: FENS Schools

Email: schools@fens.org


Bertinoro, Province of Forlì-Cesena, Italy