US-EU Workshop "Reverse Engineering of the Human Brain"

Workshop Report

The workshop report can be found here

Through a collaborative effort of four European Science Foundation Standing Commitees (MED (formerly EMRC), LEE (formerly LESC), PEN (formerly PESC) and HUM (formerly SCH)), the US National Science Foundation (NSF), and the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) organized a workshop focused on the reverse engineering of the human brain.

This workshop was held at the Park Hotel Dubrovnik, Croatia, 23-26 May, 2010.


This workshop was a follow-up of occasional but successful series of joint ESF-NSF meetings which started in 2002 around the PEN (formerly PESC) Research Networking Programme CONVIB. The topics have successively moved into the territory of EuroCORES S3T programme.  Most recently, the workshop on "Bio-inspired Engineering of Sensors, Actuators and Systems" held in 2008 in Taormina, has lead to the developement of the ESF EuroBioSAS EUROCORES and the NSF Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) programme on "BioSensing & BioActuation: Interface of Living and Engineered Systems (BSBA) programme.


There is a great interest in understanding of how human brain manipulates data and develops solutions. During the past decade scientists and engineers have conducted extensive research in developing a better understanding of human brain functions such as, transformation of the sensed physical world into representations useful to recognize and to act ; sensorial, cognitive and motor data storage and retrieval  and the use of this information for decision-making  and social interactions. The main objectives of this workshop were to:

  • Create a platform for scientific dissemination, exchange of ideas and discussions among neuroscientists, cognitive scientists, engineers, and computer scientists from the US and Europe in the areas of reverse engineering of the human brain.
  • Create opportunities for the enhancement of existing collaborative links and for the creation of new prospects.
  • Provide consolidated strategic recommendations for the benefit of funding agencies, industry, research establishments, and academia. This includes foresight for research planning, promotion and dissemination of knowledge, formulation of standards and best practices.

The workshop aim was to identify technological challenges, basic research issues, and to outline a research roadmap for collaboration between the US and Europe in this exciting area.

The workshop was chaired by:

  • Professor Giulio Sandini, University of Genova, Italy, EU
  • Professor Rahmat Shoureshi, University of Denver, US

The local organisation was provided by:

  • Dr. Stjepan Bogdan, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Workshop attendance wass by invitation only. A total of forty scientists and engineers (20 from US and 20 from Europe), plus a few program directors, observers and agencies’ representatives attended this workshop.