CRCN related meeting

Jay McClelland, Heineken Prize 2014 recipient & ULB DHC, to speak at the University Foundation on September 26th @ 18:00

[photo credit: Jussi Puikkonen/KNAW]


The Center for Research in Cognition & Neurosciences of the Université Libre de Bruxelles is pleased to announce that Pr. James L. McClelland (Stanford University), the recipient of the 2014 Heineken Prize for the Cognitive Sciences, will deliver a lecture on Friday 26 September at the University Foundation in Brussels.


McClelland, together with David Rumelhart and the PDP research group, pioneered the connectionist approach to human cognition.A member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), he is also, more locally, an honorary member of the Belgian Association (1997) for Psychological Sciences and a Doctor Honoris Causa of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (2005).


The event will begin at 18:00 and will be followed by a cocktail.


Prof. McClelland’s lecture is titled: How experience leads to readiness to learn 


Research on human development and learning reveals many examples of cases in which children of one age readily learn something, while children a bit younger do not.  When children are ready, we say that they are in ‘the zone of proximal development’ — but how can we explain when and how they enter this zone?  My research using artificial neural network models has explored this and related issues — including striking U-shaped developmental trends, in which learning appears to go backwards before it progresses.  These issues arise in a range of different contexts, including children’s readiness to learn such things as basic intuitions about principles of physics, the conceptual organization of different natural kinds, and the correct interpretation of mathematical symbols, such at the equal sign.  In my talk I will mention these cases, and discuss how learning processes operating in deep neural networks can help us understand these phenomena.

Jay McClelland, Heineken Prize 2014 recipient & ULB DHC, to speak at the University Foundation on September 26th @ 18:00


Please join us for this exciting event!

Practical info

The meeting will take place at 18:00 sharp at the  University Foundation in the center of Brussels. 


You can access the Fondation by car (parking is available at the nearby Porte de Namur/Naamse Poort), by train (Brussel Centraal/Bruxelles Central, 15m walk), or by tram/bus/metro.


Admission is free. All are welcome, but spots will be limited to the first 70 registrants.

To secure your spot, please send an email to  Angélique Bernacki  with “Registration McClelland event” as subject.