Mindvoyage 02 l Romain Brette: What Is “Information” for an Organism?
The Mindvoyage lectures feature prominent scholars from different disciplines including the humanities, biology, neuroscience and physics. On Thursday, June 30, 4 p.m. CET, the Mindvoyage lecture series features Romain Brette, Computational Neuroscience of Sensory Systems Group Vision Institute, Paris, France.
The lectures are presented by Lucia Melloni, Research Group Leader, Research Group Neural Circuits, Consciousness, and Cognition on behalf of the ARC-COGITATE Consortium.
What Is “Information” for an Organism?
The concept of information plays a central role in theories of consciousness, and more generally cognition. Typically, a variable X in the brain is claimed to be informative if it covaries with some other variable Y in the world. This narrow view of information is misleading, because a value cannot be informative by itself: the number 100 only becomes information once I know that it refers to the number of square meters of my apartment, provided I know what square meters and apartments are. The first requirement is that information has a truth value: it can be true or false. In other words, information is propositional: “the winner of the election is Donald Trump” is information, but “Donald Trump” is not information. The second requirement is that information requires an agent with knowledge. I will discuss the implications of these remarks for neuroscientific theories.
You can register for the event by using this link.
About the speaker
Romain Brette is a theoretical neuroscientist in Paris who has worked in cellular biophysics and systems neuroscience, specifically on modelling auditory perception. This work has led him to reflect on the foundational concepts of neural modeling and computational neuroscience, such as neural codes, computation and information.
The event will be held on Zoom. Pleaso note the Data Protection Information Regarding Zoom Webinars.