HBHL 3-Day Workshop: Machine Learning for the Cognitive Neurosciences

Machine Learning for the Cognitive Neurosciences

Guest speakers include: 

  • Tal Yarkoni
  • Robb Brown
  • Hervé Lombaert
  • Karim Jerbi,
  • Team of experts from Compute Canada.

On October 15th, 16th, and 17th, 2018, the McGill University ‘Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives’ initiative is hosting a 3-day workshop entitled “Machine Learning for the Cognitive Neurosciences”, whose objective will be to introduce scientists to both the conceptual and practical rudiments of machine learning as applied to neuroimaging data.

Though attendees are expected to have a general familiarity with brain-imaging and conventional statistical analyses, no programming or machine-learning knowledge is assumed. For this reason, the first day is entirely focused on introducing the software environment that will serve for the practical exercises during the workshop, including some basics of the python programming language and several python-based packages for scientific computing. Days 2 and 3 will feature a series of presentations on machine learning and its scientific application to brain-imaging during the mornings, followed by practical exercises and further elaboration during the afternoons (see the preliminary schedule below).

Included in the registration is a full lunch and coffee and cookie breaks for each day of the workshop, as well as software and demo data.


Day 1

08:00 – 09:00 Registration
09:00 – 12:00 Calcul Québec – python basics (variables, types, data I/O, and visualization)
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch
13:00 – 14:15 Calcul Québec – Lists, loops, and functions
14:15 – 15:30 Calcul Québec – Scope, conditionals, and style
15:30 – 17:00 Calcul Québec – Machine Learning Package: Selected tools from Scikit-learn

Day 2

08:30 – 09:00 Registration
09:00 – 10:00 Robert Brown – Introduction to Machine Learning
10:00 – 11:00 Tal Yarkoni – Keynote
11:15 – 12:00 Karim Jerbi
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch
13:00 – 17:00 Alexandre Hutton – Hands-on Machine Learning (data set division, algorithm selection, considerations for data gathering and preprocessing)

Day 3

09:00 – 09:45 Alexandre Hutton – Considerations for Machine Learning in the Neurosciences
09:45 – 10:30 Stephanie Dyke – AI Ethics and Open Science
10:45 – 11:45 Hervé Lombaert
11:45 – 13:00 Lunch
13:00 – 17:00 Alexandre Hutton – Hands-on Machine Learning (interpreting results, validation, and preventing common mistakes)
17:00 – 18:00 Data Clinic


The workshop will be held in the 2nd-floor ballroom of the Carrefour Sherbrooke, 475 Sherbrooke Street West, Montréal, Québec.


Attendance is free, though you must register (follow the link below) and space is limited to 50 people. Given the high demand we expect for this workshop, we will keep a waiting list and ask that you please notify us at least 3 days in advance if you cannot attend one of more of the days.


Robert J. Zatorre, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University

Alan C. Evans, McGill Centre for Integrative Neuroscience

Patrick Bermudez, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University

Paule-Joanne Toussaint, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University

Alexandre Hutton, Centre for Intelligent Machines, McGill University

Christine Rogers, McGill Centre for Integrative Neuroscience

Deborah Rashcovsky, Events Officer, Montreal Neurological Institute

Sponsored by: