The goal of this Subproject will be to select well-defined cognitive tasks, already partially studied by cognitive neuroscience, to apply standardised stimulation protocols (localisers), and to dissect associated patterns of brain activation and response dynamics. The observed patterns of activation and dynamics will make it possible to identify:

  1. The brain regions involved in the task;
  2. The likely circuitry connecting these brain regions;
  3. Principles of information processing within and between these brain regions.

We refer to this information collectively as the cognitive architecture for the task. Cognitive architectures provide the constraints for the cognitive brain models developed by SP4. Models of cognitive architectures will span scales ranging from high-level conceptual models to more explicit models with individual simplified neurons.

Successful models will be implemented into SP9's neuromorphic computing systems, and tested for their cognitive capabilities using the SP10 Neurorobotics Platform. Combined with behavioural performance, cognitive architectures will guide the reconstruction of multi-scale models where data is missing and will provide benchmarks for the validation of biologically detailed brain models produced by the SP6 Brain Simulation Platform.

The objective for the Ramp-Up Phase was to i) identify cognitive architectures for a subset of identified cognitive functions; ii) develop localiser protocols for these functions; iii) gather, or if necessary acquire, unique theory-constraining data to be provided to modellers as benchmarks; iv) work with SP4 to translate these cognitive architectures into cognitive models, specifically focusing on two theoretical models: a cognitive architecture for spatial navigation and a cognitive architecture for visual action recognition.

In SGA1, SP3 will work towards:

  • Building experimental setups, methods, data analysis tools and simulations of behavioural and cognitive processes and brain states;
  • Validating experimental protocols and acquiring initial datasets;
  • Establishing key collaborations with other SPs to enable, for example, large-scale simulaitons, high-performance computing, theoretical analyses, neuromorphic and robotic implementations;
  • Showing examples of how cognitive funcitons and brain states can be measured and compared between animal, human and computational systems.

What People are Saying

  • Our goal within the Human Brain Project is to describe cognitive architectures that allow the human brain to perform certain cognitive functions such as reading, language, face recognition, social cognition. What we call a cognitive architecture is a set of brain areas, their internal codes, and their internal connections that allow the brain to perform a specific function.

    Prof. Stanislas Dehaene, INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit
    Commissariat a l'energie atomique et aux energies alternatives, leader of the Cognitive Architectures subproject