April 25th


Room 55.309



PhD Research Seminar

Design for creative play. (Thanks to U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona, in the context of the cooperation for the American Space)

Speaker: Eric Rosenbaum
Hosted by: Aurelio Ruiz

Eric Rosenbaum will describe some of the works he has been working on recently, including live demos for some of them, and will establish a discussion with PhD students around the challenges in achieving sustainable social impact from research activities.


Short Bio >>

Scratch Team at MIT Media Lab. Co-inventor of Makey Makey.

I design for creative play. My tools are all about bringing your imagination to life by helping you make things you care about. I love to see how using my tools can transform people's sense of what they can make and who they can become.

I am currently working with the Scratch Team at MIT Media Lab. I have also recently worked with Google Creative Lab and NYU Music Experience Design Lab. In 2015, I completed my PhD at MIT Media Lab in the Lifelong Kindergarten group with a dissertation entitled "Explorations in Musical Tinkering." Before my time at the Media Lab, I worked at MIT Teacher Education Program, creating learning games; Concord Consortium, creating molecular dynamics simulations for kids; and Six Red Marbles, creating animations for music education. I hold a Master's in Technology in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Bachelor's in Psychology and Mind/Brain/Behavior from Harvard College. 

I enjoy playing the trombone with the Opposite People.     

April 26th, 2017


Integrative Research Seminar

Synthesizing consciousness: science, technology and society

by Paul F.M.J. Verschure

Understanding the nature of consciousness is one of the grand outstanding scientific challenges of great importance both to understand who we are and of significant practical value. The fundamental methodological problem is how phenomenal first person experience can be accounted for in a third person verifiable form, while the conceptual challenge is to both define its function and physical realization. The Distributed Adaptive Control theory of consciousness (DACtoc) proposes answers to these three challenges that will be presented in this talk. I will highlight some of the functional and mechanistic aspects of DACtoc showing how DACtoc has informed our understanding of core brain mechanisms of perception, cognition and action and given rise to one of the most effective neurorehabilitation method available today. An important consequence of DACtoc is that if we aim to build socially capable machines they must become conscious raising further important questions on how we can co-exist with them.

I will also give a short overview of the history of SPECS at DTIC covering 2006-2017 and explain why we are now planning a move to IBEC.


1.         Verschure, P.F.M.J., Synthetic consciousness: the distributed adaptive control perspective. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2016.371.                              


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