UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences


UCL NeuroAI Talk Series | Dr Rebecca Jackson

13 October 2021, 2:00 pm–3:00 pm


Event Information

Open to





Sabrina Moxom – SLMS Research Coordination Office

About the event

NeuroAI is a series of themed talks organised by the UCL NeuroAI community. This month's speaker is Dr Rebecca Jackson (University of Cambridge).

Talk title: 'Reverse-Engineering the Cortical Architecture for Controlled Semantic Cognition'

All other upcoming talks can be found here.

About NeuroAI

The last decade has seen phenomenal advances in the field of machine learning (AI) (e.g. deep learning, reinforcement learning). Such is the change that no area of science can afford to ignore it, least of all neuroscience.

Crucially, AI shares a common lineage with neuroscience, and provides a means to emulate neural functions and the circuits supporting them, delivering a normative understanding of the brain and cognition (e.g. Banino et al., 2018; Stringer et al. 2019; Dabney et al., 2020).

Equally AI tools provide a means to discover, segment, and track distinct neural and behavioural states (e.g. Mathis et al., 2018; Frey et al., 2019) - yielding more efficient experiments and accelerating the pace of discovery. In turn, this understanding feeds back into the design of more effective AI architectures and models (e.g. Sabour et al., 2017; Stringer et al, 2019, Dabney et al., 2020).

Essentially, AI problems posed in neuroscience both require and inspire further advances in AI.

About the Speaker

Dr Rebecca Jackson

Research fellow (British Academy) at University of Cambridge

I obtained my PhD on ‘Temporal and Spatial Dynamics of the Semantic Network: Explorations using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and fMRI’ from the University of Manchester, for which I was awarded the 5th annual Frith Prize by the Experimental Psychology Society. Since this time I have secured two competitive fellowships to continue my research programme. In my EPRSC doctoral prize, I studied the semantic network using functional and structural connectivity methods.

I am currently completing a British Academy postdoctoral fellowship at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit focussed on ‘Understanding How the Semantic System can Both Generalise and be Selective: Developing a Full Computational Account of Semantic Cognition and its Disorders’.

More about Dr Rebecca Jackson