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Tsinghua McGovern Neurotechnology Lunch Seminar discussed interdisciplinary research in brain and cognitive sciences

On May 19, 2015, the IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research hosted a “Tsinghua McGovern Neurotechnology Lunch Seminar” at Tsinghua University. Six professors hailing from the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Center for Brain-Inspired Computing Research, Department of Computer Science, Department of Automation, School of Aerospace Engineering etc. gave wonderful speeches, sharing the frontiers of neurotechnology research, and discussing the new directions of brain and cognitive interdisciplinary research with PIs and students of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at Tsinghua University. Dr. Yi Zhong, director of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research proposed to jointly establish the “Tsinghua Neurotechnology Research Platform” with all of the scholars who attended the lunch seminar. The platform aims to promote innovative applications of high-end imaging techniques and neuromodulation technology, and with “Cortical Unit for Brain Intelligence” (CUBI) project as a starting point, to accelerate the conversion of artificial intelligence and computer science. 

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  Dr. Qikun Xue, Vice President of Tsinghua University, spoke at the lunch seminar.

Dr. Qikun Xue, Vice President of Tsinghua University, also gave a speech at the lunch seminar. He pointed out, the country is actively promoting the China Brain Initiative, and Tsinghua University has a good standing in the neuroscience field, but we still need to further strengthen the interdisciplinary fusion between departments. He emphasized the strategic significance of integrating life and biomedical sciences with engineering sciences in the development of the field of brain and cognitive science. Xue believes that the Tsinghua McGovern Institute for Brain Research has the ability to serve as the center for interdisciplinary brain research, by collecting the strengths of relevant departments and becoming a pilot project for interdisciplinary innovation in the reform of the scientific system in Tsinghua University.

Dr. Qionghai Dai, from the Department of Automation, shared the “multi-dimension, multi-scale, and high resolution computer imaging techniques” developed by his team, and its possible application in the study of the cerebral cortex’s function and structure. Dr. Luming Li reported deep brain stimulation from clinic to brain research, which introduced the innovate technology on brain pacemaker of national engineering laboratory for neural modulation, meanwhile, aimed the application prospect of neural control technology in human brain function loop. Dr. Luping Shi of the Department of Precision Instrument and Director of Center for Brain-like Computing, introduced the frontier and challenges of brain-like computing, and pointed out that the only way to solve the key challenge of brain-like computing is multidisciplinary integration. Dr. Bo Zhang, member of the Chinese Academy of Science and Professor at the Department of Computer Science, presented a report named “Brain Science and Information Technology.” In this report, he emphasized several aspects to prove the prospect and importance of brain science and information technology cooperation, including information acquisition, data processing, behavior modeling and artificial intelligence. At last, Charles Jennings, director of the MINT project at the MIT McGovern Brain Institute, shared the progress of brain interdisciplinary research in MIT.

Dr. Qikun Xun, Vice President of Tsinghua University, met with Mrs. Lore McGovern, Dr. Robert Desimone (Director of McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, Member of the American Academy of Science), Mr. Xiaoge Xiong (Executive Vice President and IDG Chairman of IDG Greater China), Yigong Shi (Assistant President of Tsinghua University and Dean of School of Life Science), and Dr. Bai Lu (Executive Vice Dean of the School of Medicine) before attending the lunch seminar.