Phil 2.11.20

7:00 – 9:00 ASRC GOES

The brains of birds synchronize when they sing duets

  • When a male or female white-browed sparrow-weaver begins its song, its partner joins in at a certain time. They duet with each other by singing in turn and precisely in tune. A team led by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen used mobile transmitters to simultaneously record neural and acoustic signals from pairs of birds singing duets in their natural habitat. They found that the nerve cell activity in the brain of the singing bird changes and synchronizes with its partner when the partner begins to sing. The brains of both animals then essentially function as one, which leads to the perfect duet. (original article: Duets recorded in the wild reveal that interindividually coordinated motor control enables cooperative behavior)

Bottom-Up and Top-Down Attention for Image Captioning and Visual Question Answering

  • Top-down visual attention mechanisms have been used extensively in image captioning and visual question answering (VQA) to enable deeper image understanding through fine-grained analysis and even multiple steps of reasoning. In this work, we propose a combined bottom-up and top down attention mechanism that enables attention to be calculated at the level of objects and other salient image regions. This is the natural basis for attention to be considered. Within our approach, the bottom-up mechanism (based on Faster R-CNN) proposes image regions, each with an associated feature vector, while the top-down mechanism determines feature weightings. Applying this approach to image captioning, our results on the MSCOCO test server establish a new state-of-the-art for the task, achieving CIDEr / SPICE / BLEU-4 scores of 117.9, 21.5 and 36.9, respectively. Demonstrating the broad applicability of the method, applying the same approach to VQA we obtain first place in the 2017 VQA Challenge


  •  Defense
    • Need to think about how to discuss maps like the T-O and belief space maps (flocking and stampeding projections?) are attention maps as well. Emphasizing well-triangulated but less-attended areas is a potential good. Compare to how maps opened up areas for exploration and exploitation, but this is constructive and not extractive
  • Admin -done
  • Walkthrough of Aaron’s slides
    • Showed him how to outline boxes and reduce the filesize
  • Shimei’s group
    • Walkthrough of the slides
    • Strengthen the connection between the sim and the human study