The mind is what the brain does. Therefore, mapping a mind model to the corresponding brain seems to not only deepen our understanding of brain and mind, but also unveil computational underpinnings and principles. That is why the words “Brain-Mind” are hyphenated in the name of the Institute.
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From the knowledge required for a recently synthesized grand computational picture of the brain-mind and many other partial computational pictures, it seems that the research community urgently needs a large number of leaders who have sufficient knowledge in at least six disciplines conjunctively — Biology, Neuroscience, Psychology, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Mathematics (6 disciplines). Such knowledge is further needed for understanding brain-mind, either natural or artificial, in many scales that the Institute is interested in — genes, cells, circuits, streams, brain ways, experiences, behaviors, societies, and diseases.
While increasingly more researchers are converging to this high-impact brain-mind subject, they face great challenges: The existing educational and research infrastructure was not meant for this brain-mind scale (6 disciplines). The Brain-Mind Institute (BMI) provides an integrated 6-discipline academic and research infrastructure for future leaders of brain-mind research. The BMI is a new kind of institute, not limited by boundaries of disciplines, organizations, and geographic locations. As far as we know, only the BMI currently offer such a series of brain-integrated courses because the material of each BMI course is guided by the whole-brain theory, through the course instructors and course discussions.
Why Located at MSU with International Participation?
Like any academic institution, the BMI needs a stable, annually recurring educational infrastructure for its academic programs.
MSU played an instrumental role in initiating an integrated research paradigm for understanding brain-mind — known as
Autonomous Mental Development (AMD), natural and artificial. This paradigm now has a growing research community represented bythe ICDL conference series, the AMD Newsletter and the IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development. MSU has theCognitive Science Program, the Neuroscience Program, and a number of NSF funded centers (e.g., the Institute for Research on Mathematics and Science Education, the CVRC center, and the BEACON center), as well as the related Colleges and Departments. As the first land-grant university in US and a research-intensitve university, Michigan State University (MSU) has the required international reputation, connections, and educational infrastructure that the new institute needs.
The institute will meet its full potential as an international resource by maintaining a stable support base for recurring annual operations. MSU has the necessary international and national relationships that have been built and nurtured over 15 years to meet the scholarship needs of the larger community. The MSU administration regards this education and research entity as an important component of its broad plan to enhance MSU’s reputation amongst its peers and to meet the needs of its constituents. However, the BMI courses allow distance learning options.
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For educational and research issues, contact Prof. Juyang (John) Weng <email@example.com>.