News Release

Building and understanding brains: How can AI research inform neuroscience?

International experts gather at the FENS 2022 Forum to discuss the flourishing cooperation between artificial intelligence and neuroscience

Meeting Announcement

Federation of European Neuroscience Societies

Paris, France – July 7, 2022: The study of artificial intelligence (AI) and neuroscience have many things in common. At its core, neurosciences aim to better understand the brain by deciphering its complex networks and processes. Complimentarily, many AI-focused research projects involve constructing synthetic components of the human brain. The connection of these fields benefits both computer scientists and biology-focused neuroscientists as they help us understand natural and artificial learning systems.

These domains of research lend themselves to be inspired by one another. In the 1950’s, researchers had already begun looking at how they may be able to model information processing capabilities of human neurons. Today, AI is giving way to new tools for neuroscience research, some of which are contributing to new hypotheses for how cognitive processes and tasks are performed in in the brain.

On Saturday, July 9 from 15:15-16:45, international experts will gather to discuss a wide range of subjects related to the interaction between neuroscience and AI.

Dr. Kanaka Rajan, Assistant Professor at the Friedman Brain Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, leverages data from neuroscience experiments and combines it to powerful computational frameworks to build artificial models of the brain. As a computational neuroscientist, her work aims to bridge the gap between AI researchers’ drive to find high-performing systems for a specific goal or application, and biologists’ goal of discovering how a system solve problems and make predictions from models that can further drive novel hypotheses about brain function.

During the session, Dr. Rajan will discuss Curriculum Learning a new approach her lab is taking to probe learning mechanisms in both biological and artificial brains. This approach imitates meaningful learning order in human curricula by training a machine learning model starting with easier to progressively harder training set, or “curricula”.

As an experimental cognitive neuroscientist, Prof. Stanislas Dehaene from College de France, will argue that our species is truly unique in its capacity to learn and that at least for now, our brain can still learn better than any machine that exists! In addition to elaborating on some of the work featured in his 2020 book, How We Learn, he will also speak to new research being carried out in his lab. One specific area he and his team are looking into, is humans’ impressive ability to find structures in sequences (like in grammar) or in space (as with geometry). The data the team have generated so far poses a challenge to current artificial neural networks, who do not achieve similar performance so far, and are generally poor with symbols and grammar.

Other experts participating in the panel include: Prof. Claudia Copath from Imperial College London, Prof. Josh Tenenbaum from MIT, Dr. Jane Wang from Deep Mind, and Prof. Christopher Summerfield.

The FENS Forum features a high-quality scientific programme covering all aspects of neuroscience, from basic to translational research. Over the course of five days, attendees will have unprecedented access to a range of symposia, technical workshops, plenary and special lectures like these as well as poster sessions and more!

FENS and the Société des Neurosciences are eager to welcome the neuroscience community to attend Europe's largest international neuroscience meeting on 9-13 July 2022 in Paris, France.

Press passes are still available.

About FENS

FENS is the main organisation for neuroscience in Europe. FENS currently represents 44 European national and single discipline neuroscience societies across 33 European countries and  over 21,000 member scientists. FENS promotes neuroscience research to policy-makers, funding bodies and the general public, both regionally and internationally. FENS promotes excellence in neuroscience research and facilitates exchanges and networking between neuroscientists within the European Research Area and beyond.

Media contact before and during the Forum

FENS Forum Press Officer

Michelle Wilson-André

+34 7 68 86 55 47


FENS Contact      

FENS Communications Team

+32 2 545 04 06


Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.