Cortex Club, organized by Oxford students and postdocs, invites speakers to present emerging work and engage in lively debate

October 3, 2014

DSC_0032I spoke this week at Oxford University’s Cortex Club– a student/postdoc-led organization that brings in speakers from around the world to speak to a very lively and engaged audience. As a former visiting student at Oxford, it was a special pleasure to come here, and the beautiful architecture is as inspiring as it ever was. The discussion during and after the talk was great, and I was pleased to get some critical feedback on our ideas from Andrew Parker, who has done influential work about motion direction decisions. One question he and his lab members raised was how to think about sensory vs. motor driven activity in parietal cortex- this is a key question.

Following the talk, the students and postdocs escorted meDSC_0036 to a local pub where we had pints and discussed both my talk and the field in general. One topic of interest was how the legal system is evolving in response to neuroscience data. With structural and functional MRI becoming widely available, unusual brain architecture and dynamics are sometimes argued to underlie criminal behavior.

DSC_0033Finally, the students requested that I sign a guest book that they have been keeping to track all the speakers at the club. It was fun to look back at the messages from my colleagues who have been previous speakers. There were some entertaining and inspiring messages, a few clearly fueled by the lighthearted feeling that evolves after a few pints in this cozy pub. I wrote them a limerick about machine learning, which I won’t repeat here, but if you encounter the club at any point, maybe they will share it with you!

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