CogSys -- euCognition
Logo -- UKCRC -- The CoSy project

Two day Multi-Disciplinary Symposium
at AISB'06 on UKCRC Grand Challenge 5:
3rd to 4th April 2006

GC5: Architecture of Brain and Mind:
Integrating high level cognitive processes with brain mechanisms
and functions in a working robot

NEWS 10 Dec 2006

Post symposium contributions

Papers and links contributed after the symposium are available here.
(Please send contributions, preferably in the form of URLs linking to online documents, to Aaron Sloman.)

The Conference: AISB'06 Convention.

The whole conference is spread over four days, April 3rd-6th 2006. at the University of Bristol, Bristol, England, on the general theme of Adaptation in Artificial and Biological Systems

This Symposium

This symposium on the topic of UKCRC Grand Challenge 5: Architecture of Brain and Mind, will be held on 3rd and 4th April, as one of the symposia at the AISB'06 Convention.

This is a sequel to both the two day Tutorial on Representation and Learning in Robots and Animals held at IJCAI'05 in Edinburgh, July 2005, and two UK Research Grand Challenge Conferences, one held in Newcastle in March, 2004, and one one to be held in Glasgow, 22-24 March 2006.

An expanded version of the slide presentation on GC5 given at the 2004 conference is here (PDF).

Background information about this Grand Challenge can be found here.

The symposium is intended to promote the research objectives in GC5, to help to clarify the state of the art in the disciplines relevant to GC5, to identify some of the hardest problems, and to suggest promising lines of research and ways of assessing progress.

The main thrust of GC5 is to promote a combination of bottom-up, top-down and middle-out research into the nature of minds (human, animal and artificial) and the mechanisms in brains, and the ways in which brains can support the existence and functioning of minds. From this viewpoint minds are virtual machines running on brains, which are physical machines. The most important feature of minds is that, unlike most other machines which merely manipulate matter and energy, minds manipulate information -- which they acquire, store, analyse, transform, generate, communicate, interpret and use in many ways. The symposium will discuss problems and theories relating to how this is done, what the role of the body is in the process, what the major unsolved problems are and how we can identify promising short and medium term steps towards solving them.

Attendance at the symposium should help researchers dissatisfied with narrowly focused research who wish to meet and talk to others interested in more visionary research on brain and mind concerned with integrating functionality of different kinds, and different levels of description. A list of themes for talks and discussion at the symposium is here.

The symposium should usefully complement the AISB'06 symposium on Integrative approaches to Machine Consciousness on 5th-6th April.

Symposium programme

There will be talks on the aims of GC5, on progress in new GC5-related projects, including biologically inspired projects, and including both modelling of brain mechanisms and of higher mental functions, along with ideas for addressing important unsolved research problems.

The symposium will include general discussions involving all the speakers and the audience on each day.


Invited Speakers

In alphabetical order, not order of presentation (see programme above).
(Click on speaker name for more details).
Jackie Chappell
How do animals gather useful information about their environment and act on it?
Mike Denham
The role of the neocortical laminar microcircuitry in perception, cognition, and consciousness (provisional)
Steve Furber
High-Performance Computing for Systems of Spiking Neurons
Jeffrey L. Krichmar
Brain-based devices for the study of nervous systems and the development of intelligent machines.
Mark Lee
Developmental Robotics: an emerging paradigm for intelligent agents.
Peter Redgrave
Is it just a question of priority? Inspiration from the vertebrate basal ganglia.
Murray Shanahan
Cognition and Consciousness: Is There a Fundamental Link?
Aaron Sloman
Requirements for a robot with human child-like or crow-like visual and learning capabilities.
Mark Steedman
Plans and the Structure of Mind and Language
Tom Ziemke
Integrating Cognition, Emotion and Autonomy: Embodied Cognition in Organisms and Robots
The whole list, with speaker details and abstracts.

There will also be poster presentations.


Conference Plenary Speakers

The above information may get out of date. Please check the main AISB'06 programme:

Organising Committee

The symposium is organised by members of the Committee appointed by UKCRC as responsible for GC5, namely:

Murray Shanahan (Imperial College, London)
Other Members:
Mike Denham (Plymouth University)
Steve Furber (Manchester University)
Mark Lee (University of Wales, Aberystwyth)
Aaron Sloman (University of Birmingham)
(Symposium organiser)
Poster Session Organiser: Nick Hawes (University of Birmingham)

Symposium Web Site

Contributions by main speakers and by people attending the symposium will be available at the Symposium web site. People attending the symposium are invited to submit additional contributions after the event.

A decision will be taken at a later stage as to whether some other form of publication would also be suitable, e.g. a book.


We gratefully acknowledge support of euCognition, The European Network for the Advancement of Artificial Cognitive Systems. The symposium is partly inspired by the EC CoSy Project, and organised by members of the Birmingham CoSy group.

The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour

It is worth joining SSAISB, the oldest AI society, begun in 1964, as the cost is low, and members get a reduction on conference fees.
Joining SSAISB
More information about SSAISB


Designing a Mind, AISB 2000

IJCAI'05 Tutorial on Representation and Learning in Robots and Animals

euCognition Inaugural Meeting, 16-17 Feb 2006


Grand Challenges Conference GCC'06 22-24 March Glasgow

euCognition Six-Monthly Meeting Monday 3 July 2006.

Integrated Intelligent Capabilities Special Track at AAAI'06

Explaining Experience in Nature, IASE Symposium at STANFORD UNIVERSITY, March 2007.

INSTITUTE for ADVANCED SCIENCE & ENGINEERING, Explaining Experience in Nature. Palo Alto, California, USA

(Send links relevant to GC5 in one-line html format to contact address below.)

This site is maintained by Aaron Sloman