Dr. Lucas Tian, Rockefeller University
Abstract: Compositionality is a key signature of the mind. It is the ability to generalize from a small set of rules to an almost unlimited set of complex thoughts and behaviors. Compositionality is critical for many domains of intelligence, such as language, social reasoning, and motor planning. Yet we do not understand the neural mechanisms of compositionality. This reflects the gap between two approaches for understanding the mind, one focusing on symbolic computation in complex cognition (cognitive science) and the other focusing on neural processes in simpler forms of cognition in animals (systems neuroscience). To bridge this gap, we have developed a way to study symbol-like compositionality in macaque monkeys, a highly intelligent species that is well-suited for neurophysiological analysis. This approach is based on a compositional drawing task. In this task, macaques draw new complex images by combining a small set of learned components, including (i) motor “primitives” (e.g., line, circle, triangle) and (ii) abstract sequencing rules for combining primitives. I will present behavioral evidence that both humans and macaques exhibit compositionality in how they draw, preliminary neural network modeling of compositional drawing, and plans for large-scale neurophysiology. I expect that combining insights across behavioral, cognitive, and neural levels will lead to new explanations of how compositionality works.
The Fall 2021 CBMM Research Meetings will be hosted in a hybrid format. Please see the information included below regarding attending the event either in-person or remotely via Zoom connection
Guidance for attending in-person:
MIT attendees will need to be registered via the MIT COVIDpass system to have access to MIT Building 46.
Please visit URL https://covidpass.mit.edu/ for more information regarding MIT COVIDpass.
MIT is currently welcoming visitors to attend talks in person. All visitors to the MIT campus are required to follow MIT COVID19 protocols, see URL https://now.mit.edu/policies/campus-access-and-visitors/. Specifically, visitors are required to wear a face-covering/mask while indoors and use the new MIT TIM Ticket system for accessing MIT buildings. Per MIT’s event policy, use of the Tim Tickets system is required for all indoor events; for information about this and other current MIT policies, visit MIT Now.
Link to this event's MIT TIM TICKET: https://tim-tickets.atlas-apps.mit.edu/58hrmE6HPTpmLevd6
To access MIT Bldg. 46 with a TIM Ticket, please enter the building via the McGovern/Main Street entrance - 524 Main Street (on GPS). This entrance is equipped with a QR reader that can read the TIM Ticket. A map of the location of, and an image of, this entrance is available at URL: https://mcgovern.mit.edu/contact-us/
General TIM Ticket information:
A visitor may use a Tim Ticket to access Bldg. 46 any time between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., M-F
A Tim Ticket is a QR code that serves as a visitor pass. A Tim Ticket, named for MIT’s mascot, Tim the Beaver, is the equivalent of giving someone your key to unlock a building door, without actually giving up your keys.
This system allows MIT to collect basic information about visitors entering MIT buildings while providing MIT hosts a convenient way to invite visitors to safely access our campus.
Information collected by the TIM Ticket:
- Phone number
- Email address
- COVID-19 vaccination status (i.e., whether fully vaccinated or exempt)
- Symptom status and wellness information for the day of visit
The Tim Tickets system can be accessed by invited guests through the MIT Tim Tickets mobile application (available for iOS 13+ or Android 7+) or on the web at visitors.mit.edu.
Visitors must acknowledge and agree to terms for campus access, confirm basic contact information, and submit a brief attestation about health and vaccination status. Visitors should complete these steps at least 30 minutes before scanning into an MIT building.
For more information on the TIM Tickets, please visit https://covidapps.mit.edu/visitors#for-access
Details to attend talk remotely via Zoom:
Zoom connection link: https://mit.zoom.us/j/94137843596?pwd=SEpXYkJQeHc2UEROdnBjMWVDaUF2Zz09