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Research at the INI has two complementary goals. We aim to understand the fundamental principles through which organisms generate behavior and cognition while linked to their environments through sensory systems and while acting in those environments through effector systems. Inspired by our insights into such natural cognitive systems, we seek new solutions to problems of information processing in artificial cognitive systems. Three competences of such systems organize our interdisciplinary research program:

  • natural and artificial action: from human motor control to autonomous robotics
  • natural and artificial perception: from vision and haptics in humans and non-human animals to computer vision and robotic haptics
  • natural and artificial cognition: from visual cognition, memory formation, and sequence generation to robotic scene representation, recognition, classification, and learning.

Technical applications are pursued in real time computer vision (e.g., to support driver assistance systems, the real time analysis of video streams in sports and other areas, and to develop industrial vision systems). We draw from a variety of disciplines that include experimental approaches from psychology and neurophysiology as well as theoretical approaches from physics, mathematics, electrical engineering and applied computer science. Interdisciplinary exchange is facilitated by mathematical methods used across the two areas of natural and artificial cognitive systems. These methods include the mathematical theory of neural networks, the theory of stochastic dynamical systems, and the theory of machine learning. We are organized into research groups that are tied into the relevant disciplines. Look up the profile of each group through the links provided on the left. You will find information about the people involved, ongoing projects and current publications there. A database of all publications from the INI is directly accessible through the "Publications" link. Research laboratories shared across groups is described separately under "Labs". These include platforms for experiments in human movement, robotics, human psychophysics, optical imaging and neurophysiology, and human EEG recording.