Minerva Fast Track Group Neural Codes of Intelligence

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Human intelligence exhibits features that are unparalleled by other species or its artificial counterpart. One hallmark of human intelligence is the ability to learn quickly in face of sparse and ambiguous information in the environment and to make solid inferences that go beyond our direct experience. Compared to artificial agents, humans easily draw conclusions based on abstract relations and can thus apply knowledge from one domain in a different one – a key to creative insight and scientific advance. How does the human brain process information to enable this inferential capacity?  

Our research group aims to gain insight in the neural coding properties underlying key aspects of human intelligence. Particularly, we are interested in how the brain forms and represents conceptual knowledge and how these representations are used for learning, reasoning, and novel problem solving. To address these questions, we use a combination of cognitive measures, behavioral paradigms and non-invasive brain-imaging methods, such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). A better understanding of the information processing properties of the human brain that support intelligent behavior and shape our cognitive abilities could potentially offer relevant insightsfor education or AI development.

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