Neuronal dynamics for embodied cognition, August 2020

Our annual summer school gives students an in-depth look at dynamic field theory over the course of an intense and fun week. The summer school covers everything from the basics of dynamic field theory up to our latest research projects. Students learn the theoretical background in informal lectures but the main emphasis of the summer school is hands-on work on exercises and individual projects. This gives students a lot of time to collaborate and discuss in small groups and under close supervision of our tutors.

Who is this summer school for?

The summer school is aimed at students at the advanced undergraduate or graduate level, postdocs and faculty members in the areas of embodied cognition, cognitive science, developmental science, cognitive neuroscience, developmental robotics, autonomous robotics, cognitive robotics, and anyone who wants to learn about dynamic field theory.

Impressions from previous schools

HOW TO APPLY

To apply for the summer school, please fill out our application form (black button on the right), enclosing a CV and a brief cover letter. In your letter you should briefly tell us what you are currently working on and why you would like to participate. This will help us propose a project that overlaps with your interest.

FEES AND BOOK

There is a fee of 120 EUR for the summer school. Included in this fee is a copy of our book "Dynamic Thinking - A Primer on Dynamic Field Theory" and a public transport ticket valid during the summer school (KombiTicket). Additionally, participants will have to finance their own travel and stay in Bochum.

Structure of the school

The school is led by Prof. Gregor Schöner, who lectures on the concepts of DFT in the mornings. Afternoon sessions provide hands-on training working with dynamic field models in COSIVINA and CEDAR, our interactive simulation environments. Students develop their own projects during the school to learn how to apply the concepts of DFT to their home domain of interest.

Software

For the hands-on work, the exercises and projects, we use numeric simulators. COSIVINA is a simulator for dynamic field theory that is based on Matlab and supports quick assembly of DFT models, for instance to account for human behavioral data.

The hands-on work is done in Matlab, to which a short tutorial introduction is provided.

More robotic projects can be implemented in the C++ based simulator CEDAR, which also features a graphical user interface in which core elements of DFT can be assembled without in-depth programming knowledge. For more advanced projects in CEDAR, basic knowledge of C++ is required.

Topics covered

Some of the topics that the summer school covers include:

  • Neural dynamics and basic attractor states
  • Dynamic fields
  • Introduction to COSIVINA and CEDAR
  • Links to neurophysiology and embodiment
  • Multi-dimensional fields and multi-layer dynamics
  • Spatial transformations and objects in a scene
  • Developmental dynamics and preferential looking
  • Sequence learning and higher level cognition

INFORMAL WELCOME DINNER

We will probably organize an informal welcome dinner on Sunday, August 30, some time in the evening. This is a good opportunity to meet the other students and tutors of the summer school in a relaxed setting before the school starts on the next day.

Schedule

The schedule linked on this page is from last year's event but will be very similar. We will update it as soon as it is finalized.

2019-08-25

08:00PM · 11:00PM: Welcome dinner

Mongo's Restaurant Bochum, Massenbergstraße 9, 44787 Bochum, Germany

2019-08-26

09:00AM · 09:30AM: Welcome (Gregor Schöner)

Seminar room NB 3/57

09:30AM · 11:00AM: Introduction (Gregor Schöner)

Seminar room NB 3/57

11:30AM · 01:00PM: Braitenberg and neural dynamics (Gregor Schöner)

Seminar room NB 3/57

01:00PM · 02:00PM: Lunch

02:00PM · 03:00PM: Exercise: Neural dynamics

Robotics lab NB 02/77

03:00PM · 04:30PM: Dynamic field theory: Basic concepts, neural grounding (Gregor Schöner)

Seminar room NB 3/57

05:00PM · 06:30PM: Project presentation

Seminar room NB 3/57

06:30PM · 08:00PM: (Project preparation)

2019-08-27

09:00AM · 11:00AM: Dynamic field theory: Instabilities, memory trace (Gregor Schöner)

Seminar room NB 3/57

11:30AM · 01:00PM: Exercise: Dynamic field theory

Robotics lab NB 02/77

01:00PM · 02:00PM: Lunch

02:00PM · 03:30PM: Embodied neural dynamics (Gregor Schöner)

Seminar room NB 3/57

03:30PM · 04:30PM: Exercise: Embodied neural dynamics

Robotics lab NB 02/77

05:00PM · 06:30PM: Exercise: Introduction to software (Mathis Richter)

Robotics lab NB 02/77

06:30PM · 08:00PM: (Project preparation)

2019-08-28

09:00AM · 11:00AM: Higher dimensional fields and multi-layer fields (Gregor Schöner)

Seminar room NB 3/57

11:30AM · 01:00PM: Sequence generation (Gregor Schöner)

Seminar room NB 3/57

01:00PM · 02:00PM: Lunch

02:00PM · 08:00PM: Project work

Robotics lab NB 02/77

08:00PM · 10:00PM: Summer school dinner

HANS IM GLÜCK Burgergrill & Bar, Kortumstraße 39, 44787 Bochum,Germany

2019-08-29

09:00AM · 10:00AM: Integrated model intentionality (Jan Tekülve)

Seminar room NB 3/57

10:00AM · 11:00AM: SAIM: The Selective Attention for Identification Model (Dietmar Heinke)

Seminar room NB 3/57

11:30AM · 01:00PM: Project work

Robotics lab NB 02/77

01:00PM · 02:00PM: Lunch

02:00PM · 08:00PM: Project work

Robotics lab NB 02/77

2019-08-30

09:00AM · 10:00AM: Neuroimaging and DFT (John Spencer)

Seminar room NB 3/57

10:00AM · 11:00AM: Higher Cognition (Mathis Richter)

Seminar room NB 3/57

11:00AM · 01:00PM: Project work

Robotics lab NB 02/77

01:00PM · 02:00PM: Lunch

02:00PM · 03:30PM: Project work

Robotics lab NB 02/77

03:30PM · 06:00PM: Demos and project presentations

Robotics lab NB 02/77