Mar 6 – 10, 2023
Institut Henri Poincaré
Europe/Paris timezone

Workshop: Structural learning by the brain , March 6-10, 2023


Due to the strike in France on March 7, all talks held on this day are cancelled.

Register here !

Program here!

List of speakers :

Olivier Faugeras 

Aline Duarté

Antonio Galves

Florent Meyniel

Yves Frégnac

Gilles Laurent

Woljciech Szpankowski

Sonja Grün

Victor Jirsa

Florencia Leonardi

Leonardo Cohen

Claudia D. Vargas

Vikram Chib

Marcela Svarc

Daniel Fraiman

Oswaldo Baffa

Risto Ilmoniemi

Bill Lytton

Christophe Pouzat

Maria Elisa Pimentel

Rafael Stern

Antoine Triller




Antonio Galves (Universidade de São Paulo,

Eva Löcherbach (Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne,

Christophe Pouzat (CNRS Université de Strasbourg,

Claudia D. Vargas (Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro)


Institut Henri Poincaré
Amphithéâtre Hermite
11 rue Pierre et Marie Curie 75005 Paris

In this workshop we propose to address the fundamental question of how the brain makes statistical inference and selects the most suitable models so as to act in the world. Since the pioneer work of Helmholtz (1867), it has been conjectured that the brain does statistical model selection by assigning probabilistic models to samples of stimuli and making statistical inference to predict upcoming events. This conjecture has been extensively discussed in the literature under several labels (predictive coding, Bayesian brain, etc). This multiplicity of labels blurs communication in the field. One of the goals of this workshop is to put together experts in the field towards a unifying conceptual framework.

Results supporting the conjecture that the brain effectively identifies the structure of the chain generating the sequence of stimuli were obtained by many labs. In particular, electrophysiological and behavioral signatures of impending and performed actions as well as signatures associated to sequence learning have been identified in the human brain. In another line of evidence, signatures of offline rehearsal through the process of learning motor sequences have been associated to performance improvement (i.e., the phenomenon of neural replay). Sequence learning also implies in implementing motivational drive models by the brain through reinforcement learning.

Discussing these fundamental issues will require the development of new experimental protocols, new mathematical models and new statistical methods. Besides these fundamental aspects, the workshop will discuss clinical applications and innovation in social sciences.

Application for this event is currently open.