Deep Learning is an approach to artificial intelligence that is inspired by the hierarchy of cortical areas in our visual system. It has transformed speech recognition, picture captioning and many other difficult problems such as playing board games like Go. This lecture will explore the background that led to these advances and the challenges that lie ahead in achieving intelligent behaviour.


Professor Terrence Sejnowski is a pioneer in computational neuroscience and his goal is to understand the principles that link brain to behaviour. His laboratory uses both experimental and modeling techniques to study the biophysical properties of synapses and neurons and the population dynamics of large networks of neurons. He has published more than 500 scientific papers and 14 books, including The Computational Brain. He received his PhD in Physics from Princeton and is currently an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a Distinguished Professor at the University of California at San Diego and holds the Francis Crick Chair at The Salk Institute. 

Sejnowski is the President of the Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) Foundation, the premier conference on machine learning and neural computation.  He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering.  He was instrumental in shaping the BRAIN Initiative that was announced by the White House in 2013 and served on the Working Group of the Advisory Committee to the Director of NIH for the BRAIN Initiative.

About The Merson Lecture

The annual lecture is named in honour of Dr David Merson, who supported the series in order to promulgate the best neuroscience research and what it has to offer the community in the future. It is given by a prominent, internationally leading neuroscientist whose research is of relevance to laboratories at QBI.

Dr Merson is the founder and ex-CEO of Mincom Limited. Since retiring, he has become director of a range of organisations and charitable institutions. He is a member of QBI’s Advisory Board and was the inaugural Chair of the QBI Development Board. His philanthropic sponsorship of this lecture is indicative of a strong community interest in neuroscience and the inspiring research that is being done in the area of neurological and mental diseases. 



QBI Building (#79), St Lucia Campus
Level 7 Auditorium