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Intelligence: natural, artificial and synthetic


5-6 October 2023



Download the Book of Abstracts:

Book of Abstracts


Over the last decade, a new wave of excitement has emerged with the rise of deep learning. Many expectations have accompanied these descendants of the early multilayer neural networks developed in the 1990s because of their remarkable ability to find solutions to complex problems beyond human intuition. This is transforming the scientific landscape, from how we design experiments, to what it means to model, predict and build. At the same time, there has been a surge in research exploring the potential deep connections between artificial neural networks and evolved ones, and between neural circuits and other molecular, cellular and ecological networks. New advances from evolutionary robotics to genetics, swarm cognition to synthetic biology and computational neuroscience are helping to reformulate critical questions in biology. This meeting will bring together scholars from different disciplines to discuss progress and new ideas at the intersection of natural, artificial and synthetic networks.





 Day 1 - October 5, 2023



Registration, PRBB Auditorium

(PRBB auditorium, Carrer del Dr. Aiguader, 88, 08003 Barcelona, Spain)


Welcome and presentation by Mafalda Dias (CRG), Jonathan Frazer (CRG) and
Ricard Solé (UPF)


First scientific session: Artificial and natural neuronal circuits

Chair: Ricard Solé

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain


Becoming the world: structural learning in natural and artificial systems

Vijay Balasubramanian

University of Pennsylvania, USA


The Turbulent Brain: A new Framework for Analyzing and Modeling 
Whole-Brain Dynamics

Gustavo Deco

Universitat Pompeu Fabra & ICREA, Spain


  - coffee break -


Promoting behavioral diversity in artificial agents through eco-evolutionary
and socio-cultural dynamics

Clement Moulin-Frier

Inria, France


- lunch -


Second scientific session: Molecular, genetic, cellular networks

Chair: Mafalda Dias

CRG, Spain


Theory of natural computations

Aneta Koseska

Max Plank Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior, Germany


Uncovering rules of gene regulation with deep learning

Peter Koo

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, USA

  - coffee break -

The collective intelligence of our cells: bioelectricity, basal cognition, and 

Michael Levin



Sequence-based deep learning models for understanding gene regulation and
disease genetics

Sara Mostafavi

University of Washington, USA


Poster session


End of Day 1


 Day 2 - October 6, 2023



Late registration, PRBB auditorium


Third scientific session: From organism to ecological networks

Chair: Jonathan Frazer

CRG, Spain


James Sharpe

EMBL Barcelona, Spain


Experience encoding in a minimal animal

Jordi Garcia-Ojalvo

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain


  - coffee break -


Semantic genetic programming applied to the field of
population genetics

Oscar Lao

Institut de Biologia Evolutiva, Spain


Deep (and Diverse) Learning for Early Warning Signals
of Tipping Points

Madhur Anand

University of Guelph, Canada

13:00 Poetry Session by Madhur Anand


Wrap-up and final remarks

Call for abstracts


Abstract submission for poster presentation is now open and can be done via the registration link


General Information

Language: All abstracts must be written in English.
Deadline: abstracts MUST BE RECEIVED no later than September 28th, 2023

Notification of acceptance will be mailed by September 29th, 2023. Only the presenting/first author will receive the email notification of acceptance or rejection, and is responsible for informing all co-authors of the status of the abstract.


Content of the Abstract

Abstracts are limited to 300 words.

Abstracts must contain: title, authors, primary institution, purpose of the study, methods used, summary of the results and conclusion reached.

Abstracts will be published as submitted. Proof and edit your submission accordingly.

Information for poster presenters: The poster space will be 90 x 120 cm (width x height), which corresponds to DIN-A0 VERTICAL layout.




Registration for the symposium is now open and it is free of charge. You can register, using this link

Registration deadline: 28/09/2023

Contact and venue



PRBB Auditorium

Dr. Aiguader, 88

08003 Barcelona, Spain



Practical information


 Accommodation near the venue:

  • Campus del Mar residence:  

  • Hotel H10 Marina:  

  • Hotel H10 Port Vell:  

  • Hotel Pere IV:  



Useful links:






Ajuntament de BarcelonaExcelencia Severo Ochoa