Prof. Kim Kirsner on fluency and aphasia

Prof. Kim Kirsner (Western Australia) will speak about his work on speech fluency and aphasia. This will also involve informal discussion of potential collaborations involving brain imaging and a new database of fluent speech in aphasia.

As a cognitive psychologist, Kim Kirsner has also published extensively on implicit memory, and dual-route models of speech production. 

Tuesday 21st of May, 12 noon in room 157, Harry Pitt Building.

Cognitive and Developmental Sections of the British Psychological Society @Reading

CogDev 2013 is a joint conference of the British Psychological Society’s Developmental and Cognitive Sections, to be held in Reading 4-6th Sept and organised by Dr Graham Schafer of the CCR and the Department of Psychology. There has been a lot of interest from within the University, across the country, and internationally. We received almost 500 submissions, which is more than twice the usual total for an individual Section, and over 50% up on the combined total for the two Sections last year. Abstracts have been sent from countries as diverse as Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia , Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA .

A great line-up of speakers includes Sue Gathercole, Mark Seidenberg, Mike Tomasello, and Faraneh Vargha-Khadem, as well as a good number of Reading’s own stars. Students are welcome to volunteer in return for access to sessions. The local committee is currently reviewing the submissions- more details to come- but symposia have already been accepted on  topics as diverse as: The development of creativity, innovation & exploration, The development of the Mirror Neuron System in human and macaque infants, Literacy, Memory, Mental toughness, Neurocognitive approaches to developmental disorders, Picture-mediated learning, Theory of Mind, and Young people’s reasoning about biology & physics (to name but a few)

The conference website is at or follow us on Twitter ‏@CogDev2013.

Abstract for Vincent Müller’s talk, 9th May

Vincent C. Müller

Anatolia College/ACT & University of Oxford

“If the human brain is a computer, does it follow that we can reproduce human cognition on different hardware?”

Neuroscientists say they have maps of the nervous systems of the nematode worm C. elegans and the drosophila fly, maps of the brain of the honeybee and the embryo zebrafish … and governments in the US and EU are now spending over 100mil€ each, per year, to generate a complete map of the human brain in all the necessary detail to explain its functioning at the neural and synaptic level, including the connections between neurons (the “connectome”). The obstacles before this project are surely formidable, but the main problems seem to be feasible, rather than requiring deep new insights.

At the same time, much of current neuroscience is based on the assumption that the human nervous system is a computational system at its basic level of function. And finally, there are good reasons to assume that computing is ‘multiply realizable’: Strictly the same computing procedure can be realized on different hardware. So, if the whole brain could scanned and its computation run on different hardware, what would happen, and what would that show for the theory of cognition?