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NSF-funded workshop delved into the relationship between brains and computers, June 26-July 16


September 22, 2022

An interdisciplinary group of researchers from academia and industry — including engineers, computer scientists, neuroscientists and behavioral and cognitive scientists  — gathered summer in Telluride, Colorado, for the 2022 Telluride Neuromorphic Cognition Engineering Workshop. Neuromorphic engineers design and fabricate artificial neural systems that are modeled after biological nervous systems. Support from the National Science Foundation for over 25 years has seen the evolution and expansion of neuromorphic engineering research from a focus on low-level sensory processing to current emphases on higher-level problems in perception, cognition and learning.

This annual three-week workshop included background lectures on systems and cognitive neuroscience, practical tutorials and hands-on projects. This year’s workshop, which was supported in part by NSF’s Science of Learning and Augmented Intelligence program, covered the following topic areas:

  • Neuromorphic tactile exploration — the design of robots that can explore their surroundings and detect the properties of objects via touch.
  • Lifelong learning at scale: from neuroscience theory to robotic applications — the development and application of algorithms that allow computers to learn continually from their environment.
  • Cross-modality brain signals: auditory, visual and motor — studying the brains of people who are engaged in multisensory activities like watching videos and learning to play music.
  • Neuromorphic tools, techniques and hardware — helping workshop participants learn to use hardware for neuromorphic engineering projects.

“This workshop has a long and successful track-record of advancing and integrating our understanding of biological and artificial systems of learning. Many collaborations catalyzed by the workshop have led to significant technology innovations, and the training of future industry and academic leaders,” says NSF Program Director Soo-Siang Lim.

Opinions, findings or recommendations of NSF awardees or their institutions do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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