Brains, Minds and Machines Summer Course

Collage of three images: (1) side view of human brain, with several regions highlighted; (2) a "tree diagram" illustrating how a street scene can be decomposed into various parts; (3) photo of a head and arms of a humanoid robot.

Some intelligent behaviors emerge from activity in brain regions specialized for particular functions, as shown in a visualization of the brain of Prof. Nancy Kanwisher created from fMRI data (top left). Researchers are converging on an understanding of the neural circuits underlying the early stages of object recognition, captured in a model proposed by Prof. Tomaso Poggio and colleagues (right). The iCub robot created by researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology is an open source platform for exploring models of intelligent systems (lower left). (fMRI visualization courtesy of Prof. Nancy Kanwisher. Neural circuit model courtesy of Prof. Tomaso Poggio. iCub photo © RobotCub Consortium, license GPL v2.0; this content is excluded from our Creative Commons license.)


Cite This Resource

Resource Description

Resource Features

Course Description

This course explores the problem of intelligence—its nature, how it is produced by the brain and how it could be replicated in machines—using an approach that integrates cognitive science, which studies the mind; neuroscience, which studies the brain; and computer science and artificial intelligence, which study the computations needed to develop intelligent machines. Materials are drawn from the Brains, Minds and Machines Summer Course offered annually at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, taught by faculty affiliated with the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines headquartered at MIT. Elements of the summer course are integrated into the MIT course, 9.523 Aspects of a Computational Theory of Intelligence.


This course includes the contributions of many instructors, guest speakers, and a team of iCub researchers. See the complete list of contributors.

Related Content

Tomaso Poggio, and Gabriel Kreiman. RES.9-003 Brains, Minds and Machines Summer Course. Summer 2015. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

For more information about using these materials and the Creative Commons license, see our Terms of Use.