Cognitive Computational Neuroscience: A New Conference for an Emerging Discipline

A University of Minnesota Medical School expert has created a new conference, Cognitive Computational Neuroscience (CCN), to unite the fields of cognitive science, artificial intelligence and neuroscience.

2017 was the inaugural year of the CCN conference. Nine faculty from around the world joined together to create the concept, spearheaded by Kendrick Kay, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology, University of Minnesota Medical School and Thomas Naselaris, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Medical University of South Carolina.

An article which discusses the ongoing research reported at the conference, as well as future outlook for the new conference was just published earlier this month.

“This conference fulfills something no other conference does—it attempts to draw together these different communities of researchers in a single setting,” explained Kay. “We feel these three communities or fields have a lot in common and could benefit each other through interacting more than they currently do, and our conference is designed to facilitate that.”

Part of the goal of the conference is connecting so that researchers interested in the same general topic (e.g., how memory works, how object recognition can be performed) but who live in different fields can talk with one another.

Kay and his colleagues are currently planning next year’s conference, set to take place in September of 2018. They are designing it this year to be even more interactive between the different fields.

“We hope that one day, whether that’s 5 years from now or 20, that people with different backgrounds collaborate more; that scientists, trainees, and students will become masters of many different fields and integrate that into the research that they pursue,” said Kay.