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The goal of the MPLab is to develop systems that perceive and interact with humans in real time using natural communication channels. To this effect we are developing perceptual primitives to detect and track human faces and to recognize facial expressions. We are also developing algorithms for robots that develop and learn to interact with people on their own. Applications include personal robots, perceptive tutoring systems, and system for clinical assessment, monitoring, and intervention.

  • Introduction to the MPLab (PDF)
  • MPLAB 5 Year Progress Report (PDF)

  • NEWS

    Dear Colleagues,

    NSF has issued a ‘Dear Colleague Letter’ that invites applications for
    participation in a joint NSF/EPSRC “sandpit” (interactive workshop). The
    sandpit is meant to be an intensive, interactive and free-thinking
    environment, where participants from a range of disciplines immerse
    themselves in collaborative thinking processes in order to construct
    innovative approaches to synthetic biology. Substantial funding is
    allocated for selected collaborative research projects arising from the

    Synthetic Biology uses biological systems as the primary source of data,
    dynamics, and phenomena to fabricate devices that are based on natural
    living systems. For example, new tools for designing and controlling
    neural circuits can lead to engineering of a virtual brain with the goal
    of better understanding brain/behavior interactions and to new computer
    technology based on our understanding of brain processes. Cognitive
    science and neuroscience are essential to this goal.

    Anyone eligible to apply for funding from either the NSF or EPSRC is
    eligible to apply to attend the sandpit. Please read the Dear Colleague
    Letter at and a fuller
    description of the sandpit, its aim and desired outcomes at .
    If you have questions, please contact Rita Teutonico
    Senior Advisor for Integrative Activities

    I talked to Jeremy Lewi last night.  He published a paper in NIPS 06 on infomax policies of generalized linear models with application to learning the receptive fields of sensory neurons.  He said that he was an admirer of the work that we do in our lab.  His paper this year builds upon the framework of the NIPS 06 paper by introducing prior information about the structure of the receptive fields.  One type of structure might be that a spatio temporal receptive field has rank 1 structure.  We can use this prior knowledge to adjust the posterior mode that we find in the update step of the infomax algorithm to balance likely receptive fields with ones that respect our prior beliefs about the structure of the receptive field.  Results for this method are given on bridsong data.  The results show that imposing a rank constraint on the receptive field gives a boost over the method from their 2006 paper.

    8th IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning (ICDL2009)
    Shanghai, June 5-7, 2009

    ICDL is a multidisciplinary conference pertaining to all subjects
    related to the development and learning processes of natural and
    artificial systems, including perceptual, cognitive, behavioral,
    emotional and all other mental capabilities that are exhibited by
    humans, higher animals, and robots. Its visionary goal is to
    understand autonomous development in humans and higher animals in
    biological, functional, and computational terms, and to enable such
    development in artificial systems. ICDL strives to bring together
    researchers in neuroscience, psychology, artificial intelligence,
    robotics and other related areas to encourage understanding and
    cross-fertilization of latest ideas. Topics of interest include, but
    are not restricted to:

    (1) Biological and biologically inspired architectures and general
    principles of development
    (2) Neuronal, cortical and pathway plasticity
    (3) Autonomous generation of internal representation, including feature
    (4) Neural networks for development and learning
    (5) Dynamics in neural systems and neurodynamical modeling
    (6) Attention mechanisms and the development of attention skills
    (7) Visual, auditory, touch systems and their development
    (8) Motor systems and their development
    (9) Language acquisition & understanding through development
    (10) Multimodal integration through development
    (11) Conceptual learning through development
    (12) Motivation, value, reinforcement, and novelty
    (13) Emotions and their development
    (14) Learning and training techniques for assisting development
    (15) Biological and biologically inspired thinking models and development
    of reasoning skills
    (16) Models of developmental disorders
    (17) Development of social skills
    (18) Philosophical and social issues of development
    (19) Robots with development and learning skills
    (20) Using robots to study development and learning

    ICDL2009 will feature invited plenary talks by world-renowned
    speakers, a variety of special sessions aligned with the conference
    theme, pre-conference tutorials, as well as regular technical
    sessions, and poster sessions. In addition to full-paper submissions,
    ICDL 2009 accepts one-page abstract submissions to encourage
    late-breaking results or for work that is not sufficiently mature for
    a full paper.

    Organizing Committee

    General Chair:
    Juyang Weng, Michigan State University, USA

    General Co-Chairs:
    Tiande Shou, Fudan University, China
    Xiangyang Xue, Fudan University, China

    Program Chairs:
    Jochen Triesch, Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, Germany
    Zhengyou Zhang, Microsoft Research, USA

    Publication Chair:
    Yilu Zhang, GM Research, USA

    Publicity Chair:
    Alexander Stoytchev, Iowa State University, USA

    Publicity Co-Chairs:
    Hiroaki Wagatsuma, RIKEN, Japan (Asia)
    Pierre-Yves Oudeyer, INRIA Bordeaux – Sud-Ouest, France (Europe)
    Gedeon Deák, University of California at San Diego, USA (North America)

    Local Organization Sub-Committee:
    Hong Lu (Chair), Rui Feng (Hotel), Cheng Jin (Web), Yuefei Guo (Finance),
    Wenqiang Zhang (Publication)

    Important Dates

    January 25, 2009: Special session and tutorial proposals
    February 8, 2009: Full papers
    April 19, 2009: Accept/Reject notification for full papers
    April 26, 2009: One-page poster abstracts
    May 3, 2009: Accept/Reject notification for poster abstracts
    May 10, 2009: Final camera-ready papers


    IEEE Computational Intelligence Society
    Cognitive Science Society
    Microsoft Research

    — CALL FOR PAPERS – Deadline for submissions (2nd call): 19 December 2008 —

    Barcelona, Spain, 26 to 28 February 2009

    * Keynote Speakers (confirmed):
    Professor Angela McFarlane, Director of Content and Learning at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK
    Professor Hiroaki Ogata, Dept. of Information Science and Intelligent Systems, University of Tokushima, Japan

    * Conference background and goals

    User Created Content & Mobile Technologies: From Consumers to Creators bypassing the Learning opportunity?

    Over the pass three years Mobile and Social technologies have featured strongly in the Horizon Report series which examines emerging technologies likely to have an impact on teaching, learning. Mobile devices have progressed from an adoption
    projection of two to three years in 2006, to a much more imminent adoption prediction trajectory of a year or less in 2008.
    Whether earlier the educational value of mobile technologies was thought to be delivery of content to people’s devices, the emphasis now has clearing changed to focus on their capabilities that enable users creating and sharing content.

    The ‘former audience’ combines traditional activities such as searching, reading, watching and listening, with producing, commenting, sharing, and classifying its own content. New genres of filmmaking and photography where the message gains ground over the form are developing. The proliferation of user-created content is fuelled by the wide availability of at-hand mundane technology such as mobile telephones, and the wider broadcasting outlets. These are mainly web-based however increasingly user-created content such as videos of breaking news stories feature in traditional broadcasting channels as for instance television.
    The increasing range of web 2.0 and mundane technology choices, facilitating the development of user-created content and providing opportunities to meet and collaborate, offers immense potential for teaching and learning. However, the danger remains that the transition from consumer to creator might miss the learning opportunity.

    The IADIS Mobile Learning 2009 International Conference seeks to provide a forum for the discussion and presentation of mobile learning research. In particular, but not exclusively, we aim to explore the transition from content consumer to
    content creator in experiences that take advantage of the learning opportunities this provides.

    * Format of the Conference
    The conference will comprise of invited talks and oral presentations. The proceedings of the conference will be published in the form of a book and CD-ROM with ISBN, and will be available also in the IADIS Digital Library (accessible on-line).
    The best paper authors will be invited to publish extended versions of their papers in the IADIS Journal on Computer Science and Information Systems (ISSN: 1646-3692) and also in other selected Journals.

    * Types of submissions
    Full and Short Papers, Reflection Papers, Posters/Demonstrations, Tutorials, Panels and Doctoral Consortium. All submissions
    are subject to a blind refereeing process.

    * Topics

    We invite researchers, practitioners, developers and all those working in
    the mobile learning arena to submit work under the following topics:
    – Pedagogical approaches and theories for mLearning
    – Collaborative, cooperative, and Contextual mLearning
    – Creativity and mLearning
    – Gaming and simulations in mLearning
    – mLearning in educational institutions: primary, secondary and third level
    – Informal and Lifelong mLearning
    – New tools, technologies, and platforms for mLearning
    – User Studies in mLearning
    – The social phenomenon of mobile devices and mLearning
    – mLearning in developing countries
    – Speculative ideas in mLearning: where next?

    * Important Dates:
    – Submission deadline (2nd call): 19 December 2008
    – Notification to Authors (2nd call): 19 January 2009
    – Final Camera-Ready Submission and Early Registration (2nd call): Until 2 February 2009
    – Late Registration (2nd call): After 2 February 2009
    – Conference: Barcelona, Spain, 26 to 28 February 2009

    * Conference Location
    The conference will be held in Barcelona, Spain.

    * Secretariat
    Rua Sao Sebastiao da Pedreira, 100, 3
    1050-209 Lisbon, Portugal
    Web site:

    * Program Committee

    Mobile Learning 2009 Program Chair
    Inmaculada Arnedillo Sánchez, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

    Mobile Learning 2009 Conference Chair
    Pedro Isaías, Universidade Aberta (Portuguese Open University), Portugal

    Steering Committee
    Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, Open University, UK
    David Parsons, Massey University, New Zealand
    John Traxler, University of Wolverhampton, UK
    Mike Sharples, University of Nottingham, UK

    Committee Members: *
    * for committee list please refer to

    * Co-located events
    Please also check the co-located events:
    e-Society 2009 ( – 25-28 February 2009
    Information Systems 2009 ( – 25-27 February 2009

    * Registered participants in the Mobile Learning’ conference may attend e-Society and Information Systems
    conferences’ sessions free of charge.

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    Elsevier Computer Vision and Image Understanding (CVIU)
    Call for Papers
    Special Issue on ‘Multi-camera and Multi-modal Sensor Fusion’


    – deadline: January 10, 2009
    – submission: – Select ‘Special issue: Sensor Fusion’


    Theme of the special issue

    Advances in sensing technologies as well as the increasing availability of computational power and efficient bandwidth usage methods are favouring the emergence of applications based on distributed systems combining multiple cameras and other sensing modalities. These applications include audiovisual scene analysis, immersive human-computer interfaces, occupancy sensing and event detection for smart environment applications, automated collection, summarization and distribution of multi-sensor data, and enriched personal communication, just to mention a few. This special issue proposes to address the principal technical challenges in vision processing when the video modality is also supported by other inputs such as audio, speech, context, depth sensors, and/or other cameras. Topics of interest to the special issue include:

    – Multi-camera system algorithms and applications
    – Multi-modal systems and data fusion methods
    – Distributed sensing and processing methods for human-centric applications
    – Distributed multi-modal scene analysis and event interpretation
    – Automated annotation and summarization of multi-view video
    – Automated creation of audiovisual reports (from meetings, lectures, sport events, etc.)
    – Multi-modal gesture recognition
    – Multi-modal human-computer interfaces
    – Data processing and fusion in multi-modal embedded systems
    – Context awareness and behaviour modelling
    – Performance evaluation metrics
    – Applications in distributed surveillance, smart rooms, virtual reality, and e-health


    * Deadline for manuscript submission: January 10, 2009 (extended)

    – First notification: April 10, 2009
    – Revised manuscripts due: May 30, 2009
    – Notification of final decision: July 15, 2009
    – Camera-ready manuscript: July 30, 2009
    – Publication of the special issue (tentative): 4th Quarter 2009

    Submission Guidelines

    – Papers must be submitted at by selecting the special issue option: ‘Sensor Fusion’

    – The submission guide for authors:

    – Only papers meeting the scope of the special issue will be considered for review. If in doubt concerning the relevance of a proposed paper, the authors are encouraged to contact the guest editors prior to paper submission.

    Guest Editors

    Andrea Cavallaro
    Queen Mary, University of London, UK
    [andrea.cavallaro –AT–]

    Hamid Aghajan
    Stanford University, USA
    [hamid –AT–]

    A Hierarchy of Temporal Receptive Windows in Human Cortex. Uri Hasson,1,2 Eunice Yang,1 Ignacio Vallines,3,4 David J. Heeger,1,2 and Nava Rubin1

    Michael A. Long1 & Michale S. Fee (2008) Using temperature to analyse temporal
    dynamics in the songbird motor pathway. Vol 456.

    See link below to recent Nature Article on associative learning of social value.

    Timothy E. J. Behrens1,2*, Laurence T. Hunt1,2*, Mark W. Woolrich1 & Matthew F. S. Rushworth1,2 (2008) Associative Learning of Social Value, Nature, Vol 456.

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