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Workshop Information

This is the second time this workshop is organised by Dr. Ori Ossmy and is funded by the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (CBCD) at Birkbeck, University of London. The workshop will be held at the University of London campus in the district of Bloomsbury.

The first day of the workshop will focus on training attendees to record natural human behaviour. This training includes two practical sessions by experts in the field. Attendees will be provided with the materials and can use them in their own research. 

After the training sessions and a short break, we will have an evening “Posters & Drinks” session where attendees will have the opportunity to present their posters. Researchers from Birkbeck and UCL will come to this session which will include drinks and nibbles.

The second day of the workshop will include training on analysing and visualising naturalistic behaviour, flash talks by attendees and smaller group discussions on the potential of using a naturalistic approach.  

Speakers & Panelists:

                             Prof. Sam Wass (University of East London) is a developmental
                             cognitive neuroscientist who leads the BabyDevLab at the University of                               East London. His research examines the early development of attention
                             and stress. He tries to do this based entirely on naturalistic real-world

                             observations of real-world behaviours, and corresponding fluctuations in physiology and brain activity. He is interested in the development of attention and arousal control. 

                             Prof. Natasha Kirkham (Birkbeck, University of London) is an

                             internationally renowned developmental researcher, the President-

                             Elecof the International Congress of Infant Studies, and the Chair of

                             Ethics for the School of Science at Birkbeck. Natasha's research

                             is focused on early learning and the environment, specifically on how

learning occurs in the middle of everything, with a specific interest in the role of noise and home chaos on attention. Current projects from her lab are investigating the impact of noise, distraction and rhythm on infants' and children's perception and attention.  

                             Prof. Jamie Ward (Goldsmith, University of London) is an expert in
                             wearable computing, social neuroscience, and theatre. His work is
                             broadly concerned with how we can best use wearable sensing and
                             machine learning as tools to help us capture, model, and understand

                             real-world human activity and behaviour. As part of this effort, he draws on methods from theatre and performance as a way of obtaining close-to-real-world data, developing the idea of using theatre as a laboratory will talk about practicalities – what sensors to use, how to build them, and what data they provide. 

                             Prof. Rebecca Gordon (University College London) is a Chartered

                             Member and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and

                             Director of the Motor Executive Cognitive Interaction (MECI) Lab. In

                             addition, she is a member of the Management Committee for

                             the Centre for Educational Neuroscience (CEN) and chair of the Faculty

Education Forum for UCL Institute of Education. Her research focuses on working memory/executive function as it relates to academic outcomes such as reading and mathematics. She is also interested in the relationships between executive functions and dyslexia in children and adults.

                             Prof. Aldo Faisal (Imperial College London) is a Professor of AI & 

                             Neuroscience who leads the Brain & Behaviour Lab that combines
               cross-disciplinary computational and experimental approaches to

                             investigate how the brain and behaviour evolved to learn and control

                             goal-directed behaviour. The neuroscientific findings enable the targeted development of novel technology for clinical and research applications for a variety of neurological/motor disorders and amputees. Key techniques on the computational side include data-driven methods from machine learning & stochastic modelling techniques, and on the experimental side he uses sensorimotor experiments, eyetracking & kinematics (full-body, hands), non-invasive electrophysiology (EEG, fNIRS), robotics (hand & arm robots).

                             Dr. Ori Ossmy (Birkbeck, University of London) is a developmental                                         psychologist, cognitive neuroscientist, and computer scientist who is                                  using a unique integration of theory and methods drawn from these                                     fields. He studies how changes that occur over relatively long time

                             periods—changes due to learning, development, injury, and rehabilitation—emerge from micro, real-time experiences, and how these real-time experiences play out in an interactive system of perceptual, neural, cognitive, and motor processes. Ori will talk about how to analyse and visualise naturalistic data, and specifically how to identify behavioural structures over time.


Day 1: Thursday, September 21st:

09:30 - 10:15: Gathering & Breakfast

10:15 - 10:45: Welcome & Overview

10:45- 13:00 Training session 1 - why is naturalistic experimentation important?

13:00 - 14:00: Lunch

14:00 - 15:00: Flash talks

15:00 - 15:15: Coffee break

15:15 - 16:00: Group work (breakout rooms) - what is naturalistic experimentation?

16:00 - 17:45: Panelists' presentations & discussion

18:00 - 21:00: Beer & Food poster session

Day 2: Friday, September 22nd:

9:30 - 10:30: Gathering & Breakfast

10:30 - 12:30: Training session 2 - the engineering of naturalistic experimentation 

12:30 - 13:30: Lunch

13:30 - 15:30: Training session 3 - analysing naturalistic data

15:30 - 15:45: Coffee break

15:45 - 17:15: Group work (breakout rooms) - Theory-driven vs. Data-driven 

17:15 - 17:45: Closing remarks and feedback


The cost of the workshop is £75 and includes food & drinks. There are no application fees.

Key Dates:

Application deadline: July 24, 2023 

Notification of acceptance: August 11, 2023

Workshop dates: September 21-22, 2023

Birkbeck, University of London 
Birkbeck Main Building, Malet Street

London WC1E 7HX

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