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ASoCS CogSci Colloquia

Current Academic Year


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The ASoCS offers a regular Colloquium Series featuring national and international invited cognitive scientists. All talks take place in an informal setting, last for about 45-60 min. and are followed by a discussion. These colloquia are open to a broad audience.

See here for talks of past academic years.

Talks during the current academic year


Prof. Matthias Scheutz

Human Robot Interaction Laboratory at TUFTS University (Boston, MA)

Steps towards embodied models of situated task-based natural language dialogues

Mit, 14.12.2011 15.30 HS 23, Main building, University oif Vienna, Karl-Lueger-Ring 1, 1010 Vienna
Abstract:
Perception, action, and natural language understanding are all tightly intertwined in the human cognitive system, giving rise to complex patterns of actions, utterances, and responses. Different from written usages of natural language, meaningful linguistic fragments in situated spoken dialogues are typically determined by utterance and perceptual context together with prosodic, temporal, task, and goal information. Hence, one main challenge for computational models of human-like situated task-based dialogue interactions is to determine and extract meaningful linguistic fragments that are often not aligned with sentence boundaries. Moreover, computational models need to account for the fact that real dialogues are full of incomplete, ungrammatical, and ambiguous utterances without definite truth values. In this talk, we will present results from human experiments that reveal the intricacies of human dialogue-based activity coordination in a joint remote search task. And we will show first results from our attempts to develop a complex, integrated robotic architecture that is based on findings in psycholinguistics about the nature of lexical, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic processing to model situated task-based natural language interactions in humans.

Alexander Schmitz

Department of Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Italian Institute of Technology, and the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, University of Sheffield

Tactile Sensing for Humanoid Robots

Fre, 27.5.2011 11.30 h HS 3C, Department of Philosophy, NIG, Universitätsstr. 7, 3rd floor
Abstract:
Even though the sense of touch is crucial for humans, most humanoid robots lack tactile sensing. While a large number of sensing technologies exist, it is not trivial to incorporate them into a robot. We have developed a compliant "skin" for humanoids that integrates a distributed pressure sensor based on capacitive technology. The skin is modular and can be deployed on non-flat surfaces. Each module scans locally a limited number of tactile sensing elements and sends the data through a serial bus. This is a critical advantage as it reduces the number of wires. The resulting system is compact and has been successfully integrated into three different humanoid robots. We have performed tests that show that the sensor has favorable characteristics and implemented algorithms to compensate the hysteresis and drift of the sensor. Experiments with the humanoid robot iCub prove that the sensors can be used to grasp unmodeled, fragile objects.

Arta Musaraj

Rector of the University Pavaresia of Vlore, Albania

Cognitive bases of organizational behavior

Fre, 13.05.2011 13.00h HS 2G, Department of Philosophy, NIG, Universitätsstr. 7, 2nd floor
Abstract:

Arta Musaraj

Rector of the University Pavaresia of Vlore, Albania

Workshop: Organizational behavior and communication in organizations

Fre, 13.05.2011 14.30-19.00h HS 2G, Department of Philosophy, NIG, Universitätsstr. 7, 2nd floor
Abstract:

Maurice Grinberg

Professor New Bulgarian University, Sofia

Cognitive aspects of decision making in the prisoner's dilemma game

Mon, 09.05.2011 12h HS 2H, Department of Philosophy, NIG, Universitätsstr. 7, 2nd floor
Abstract:

Maurice Grinberg

Professor New Bulgarian University, Sofia

Workshop: Cognitive modelling

Mon, 09.05.2011 13.30-18.00h HS 2H, Department of Philosophy, NIG, Universitätsstr. 7, 2nd floor
Abstract:
The workshop will be a theoretical introduction to cognitive modelling emphasizing the latest approaches in the field related to the dynamical systems approach. It will trace the ideas of the "Mind as motion" book (Port & van Gelder , 1995) over the years and end up with the Dynamical Field Theory (Schoener & Spencer, http://www.uiowa.edu/~icdls/dft/dft-tutorial.html) and the iCub project (http://www.robotcub.org/)

Andreas Kalckert

Brain, Body & Self - Laboratory A3-322
Department of neuroscience
Karolinska Institute
Stockhol, Sweden

My body and me – Multisensory mechanisms of body self-recognition

Mon, 17.01.2011 12 h HS 2i, NIG (1010 Wien, Universitätsstr. 7, 2.Stock)
Abstract:
The experience of our own body is regarded to be a fundamental aspect of consciousness. But how do we recognize our body as being distinct from the environment? Recent advances in experimental psychology (rubber hand illusion, body swap illusion) made it possible to investigate the cognitive and neural mechanism underlying the experience of /my/ /body,/ so to identify the perceived body as belonging to /me / my self/. These experiments revealed the importance of the integration of visual and somatosensory information and involvement of multisensory brain areas like the premotor and posterior parietal cortex to establish a coherent representation of the body. However, these brain areas are not only involved in the perceptual integration of the information coming from the body, but also in the control of movements. This might suggest a close relationship between the feeling of owning a body (sense of ownership) and also the ability to control the movements of the body to interact with the environment (sense of agency).

In this talk I will introduce the basic principles and limitations in the experimental manipulation of the recognition of the own body and their relationship to brain functions and pathologies.

Olga Markic

University of Ljubljana

Neuroscientific challenges to the humanistic image of the mind

Mon, 10.5.2010 18h NIG (Neues Institutsgebäude), HS 3F, 3.Stock, Universitätsstarsse 7, 1010 Wien
Abstract:
The development of science in recent centuries has brought major changes in our everyday understanding of the world as well as our human selves. Owen Flanagan (2002) believes that in the Western tradition we have two grand images of who we are: the humanistic and the scientific. Flanagan describes the humanistic image as a set of beliefs about ourselves based on the assumption that we are spiritual beings with free will and consequently able to lead a moral and meaningful life. In contrast, the scientific image says that we are animals that evolve according to the principles of natural selection and cannot circumvent the laws of nature. It is only recently that neuroscientists have been able to investigate the cognitive phenomena that are the hallmarks of what it is to be human. Some scientists (e.g. D. Wegner, 2002) and scientifically oriented philosophers (e.g. Paul Churchland, 1988) are radical and think that many concepts employed by the humanistic image are just illusions without real reference. According to them, new discoveries in neuroscience will lead to the abandonment of the humanistic image. The question is whether these two images are really incompatible. Do we really have to abandon our intuitions of what it means to be a human if we treat mind as a natural phenomenon?


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