Special Sessions

  • Neurons, Circuits and Networks
  • Social Behaviour and Communication
  • Brains & Machines
  • Adaptive Brains and Machines
  • Lifelong Brain Development
  • Beyond the Neuron: glia, vascular and immune cells
  • Prediction science and non-human animal models for the study of free will  
    • Organizer and Chair: Catalin Mitelut, Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, Columbia University, New York, USA   mitelutco@gmail.com                                                                                                            The human capacity for free will or volitional (i.e. voluntary) behaviour has intrigued scientists and philosophers for thousands of years. Over the last few decades, neuroscientists have uncovered many neural correlates of voluntary behaviours and identified several decision stages involving specific neuroanatomy and dynamics (Haggard 2008). While a reward-optimized decision framework lies at the core of most fast decisions it is supported by slower time-course motivational systems that identify long-term needs (e.g. feeding, offspring care; Maslow 1943, Kenrick 2010). In the absence of naturally evolved motivational drives, autonomous general artificial agents will require the design of motivational systems that will pose unique challenges to our understanding of free will while offering creative opportunities. This Special Session seeks submissions focusing on extending evolutionary biology and the neuroscience of volition towards the design of internally motivated, freely behaving autonomous artificial agents.


Special Session - Submission
Paper & Abstract submission deadline: Friday May 14, 2021 (Anywhere on Earth)

Paper notification: July 30, 2021

Submission site: EasyChair