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Priv.-Doz. Dr. Dr. Daniel Braun

 

Bild von Braun, Daniel, Priv.-Doz. Dr. Dr.

Daniel Braun

Position: Leiter Forschungsgruppe  Abteilung: Alumni Bülthoff Alumni Braun

One of the most striking features that sets human motor control apart from its robotic counterparts is the remarkable adaptability that allows us to cope with a vast range of complex and variable environments. The research goal of our group is to investigate the computational and biological principles underlying this unrivalled adaptability both experimentally and theoretically. In behavioural experiments, virtual reality technology allows us to expose human subjects to diverse, novel and possibly complex environments. Our aim is to study how the human motor system exploits the structure and the causal dependencies in such environments to enhance adaptation and to integrate information for action. These experimental studies are backed up by theoretical investigations of normative principles for adaptive control to explain the observed behaviours under special consideration of the bounded resources of the actors.


The interests of the research group can be broken down into three sub-projects:

 

(A) Structural learning and causal inference in motor control

 

In our previous studies we have provided first evidence for structural learning processes in human motor control, as we could show that the motor system extracts (abstract) invariants when faced with a range of variable environments that share certain structural features. However, many questions remain open that still need to be addressed, including the basic experimental protocol. In particular, more quantitative experiments are needed to understand the computational principles behind structural motor learning. This also requires the development of computational models that allow for quantitative predictions of structural learning and causal inference in human motor control.

 

(B) Neuro-economical principles in motor control and learning

 

In our previous studies we have investigated the effects of risk-sensitivity and two-player interaction on motor control. We could show that risk-sensitive subjects are not only evaluating the expected value of a movement, but also consider second-order moments of the uncertainty and act either optimistically (risk-seeking) or pessimistically (risk-aversive) with respect to this risk. In a set of two-player motor interaction experiments, we could show that subjects’ motor behavior naturally converged to so-called Nash solutions that describe rational strategies in game theory. Both risk and the presence of another actor are important neuroeconomic constraints both experimentally and in normative models of acting. However, important open questions remain about how uncertainty over different structures ("model uncertainty") is integrated by human subjects, how sensory uncertainty is affected by risk-attitudes and how uncertainty over different states of information in two-player interactions affects sensorimotor behaviour.

 

(C) Resource-bounded principles of adaption and control

 

In our previous studies we have developed a Bayesian rule for adaptive control based on an information-theoretic compression principle and causal calculus. We have demonstrated the applicability of the new adaptive control framework for very general problem classes such as undiscounted Markov Decision Problems, adaptive linear quadratic control problems and bandit problems. Important open problems are applications to more complex environments requiring generic non-parametric controllers, and in particular the application to environments that are themselves adaptive, which leads to game-theoretic problems. We have also worked on a generalization of the information-theoretic compression principle to describe normative behavior in agents with bounded computational resources. We explore further in how far this compression principle can be exploited in the development of efficient algorithms for learning and control.

 

Education

 

  • 2014: Habilitation, Eberhard Karls Universität, Tübingen, Germany
  • 2011: Dr. phil., Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, Germany
  • 2008: Dr. rer. nat., Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, Germany
  • 2005: Dipl. Biol., Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, Germany
  • 2005: Dipl. Phys., Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, Germany

 

Research Experience


  • from 2011: Emmy Noether Research Group Leader, Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics & Intelligent Systems, Tübingen, Germany
  • 2010 - 2011: Visiting Scientist, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA
  • 2008 - 2010: Research Associate, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  • 2006 - 2008: Visiting PhD Student, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  • 2005 - 2006: PhD Student, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, Germany

 

Honours & Awards


  • 2014: Teaching Award of the Graduate School for Neural Information Processing
  • 2011: DFG Emmy-Noether-scholarship
  • 2009: DAAD postdoctoral scholarship
  • 2009: Hans-Spemann-prize of the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
  • 2006: PhD Scholarship Böhringer-Ingelheim-Fonds

 

 

 

Präferenzen: 
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Zeige Zusammenfassung

Beiträge zu Tagungsbänden (18):

Ortega PA und Braun DA (März-2010) A conversion between utility and information, Third Conference on Artificial General Intelligence (AGI 2010), Atlantis Press, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 115-120.

Beiträge zu Büchern (1):

Braun DA und Wolpert DM: Structural Learning in Sensorimotor Control, 3208-3211. In: Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning, (Ed) N.M. Seel, Springer, New York, NY, USA, (2012).

Poster (7):

Grau-Moya J, Krueger M und Braun DA (Januar-2015): Non-equilibrium behaviour of information-processing systems with computational constraints, Workshop on Recent Developments In Non-Equilibrium Physics "Luxembourg out of Equilibrium", Luxembourg, Luxembourg.
Leibfried F, Grau-Moya J und Braun D (September-2014): Sensorimotor interactions as signaling games, 12th Biannual Conference of the German Cognitive Science Society (KogWis 2014), Tübingen, Germany, Cognitive Processing, 15(Supplement 1) S50-S51.
Peng Z, Genewein T und Braun D (Oktober-2013): Towards assessing randomness and complexity in human motion trajectories, 14th Conference of Junior Neuroscientists of Tübingen (NeNa 2013): Do the Results, Justify the Methods, Schramberg, Germany.
Peng Z, Genewein T und Braun DA (September-2013): Assessing randomness in human motion trajectories, Bernstein Conference 2013, Tübingen, Germany.
Genewein T und Braun DA (September-2013): Occam's Razor in sensorimotor learning, Bernstein Conference 2013, Tübingen, Germany.
Leibfried F, Grau-Moya J und Braun DA (September-2013): Signaling in sensorimotor interactions, Bernstein Conference 2013, Tübingen, Germany.
Genewein T und Braun DA (Juni-28-2013): Bayesian Occam’s Razor for structure selection in human motor learning, RSS 2013 Workshop on Hierarchical and Structured Learning for Robotics, Berlin, Germany.
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Abschlussarbeiten (1):

Braun DA: Philosophische Verwicklungen der neurobiologischen Bewusstseinsforschung, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, (Januar-2011). PhD thesis

Vorträge (18):

Braun D (Februar-27-2017) Invited Lecture: Sensorimotor learning and decision-making in complex environments, Kolloquium "Berner Gespräche zur Sportwissenschaft", Bern, Switzerland.
Braun D (Dezember-9-2016) Invited Lecture: Information-Theoretic Bounded Rationality for Learning and Decision-Making, NIPS 2016 Workshop on Imperfect Decision Makers: Admitting Real-World Rationality, Barcelona, Spain.
Braun D (Juni-2-2016) Invited Lecture: Information-processing principles for sensorimotor learning and decision-making, CogNovo, Plymouth, UK.
Braun D (Oktober-2-2015) Invited Lecture: Model uncertainty in sensorimotor learning and decision-making, IROS 2015 2nd Workshop on The Role of Human Sensorimotor Control in Surgical Robotics, Hamburg, Germany 10.
Braun D (April-23-2015) Invited Lecture: Free energy and sensorimotor information processing, University of Zurich: Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research, Zürich, Switzerland.
Genewein T und Braun DA (Dezember-16-2014) Abstract Talk: An information-theoretic optimality principle for the formation of abstractions, Seventh International Workshop on Guided Self-Organization (GSO 2014), Freiburg, Germany.
Braun D (November-24-2014) Invited Lecture: Free Energy and sensorimotor information processing, Freie Universität Berlin: Center for Cognitive Neuroscience Seminar Series, Berlin, Germany.
Braun D (September-28-2014) Invited Lecture: Signaling games in sensorimotor interactions, 12th Biannual Conference of the German Cognitive Science Society (KogWis 2014), Tübingen, Germany, Cognitive Processing, 15(Supplement 1) S11.
Braun DA, Grau-Moya J und Ortega PA (September-12-2014) Abstract Talk: Ellsberg's paradox in sensorimotor learning, Theoretical and Empirical Research in Decision-Making (DMB 2014), Bristol, UK 84.
Braun D (Juni-2014) Abstract Talk: Sensorimotor learning and decision-making in complex environments, 4th Joint Spring School Multisensory Perception for Action, Wildbad Kreuth, Germany 7.
Braun D (Juni-24-2013) Invited Lecture: Model uncertainty and risk-sensitivity in sensorimotor learning and decision-making, Universität Tübingen: AG Neuronale Informationsverarbeitung, Tübingen, Germany.
Braun D (November-6-2012) Invited Lecture: Risk-sensitivity in motor control, Bernstein Center Freiburg: Bernstein Seminar, Freiburg i.Br., Germany.
Ortega P und Braun D (September-13-2012) Invited Lecture: Free Energy & Bounded Rationality, Workshop on The Statistical Physics of Inference and Control Theory, Granada, Spain.
Braun D und Ortega PA (September-13-2012) Invited Lecture: Thermodynamics as a theory of bounded rational decision-making, Workshop on Statistical Physics of Inference and Control Theory, Granada, Spain.
Braun D (September-10-2012) Invited Lecture: Decision-making in sensorimotor control, 2nd CIN Systems Neuroscience Retreat, Reutlingen, Germany.
Braun D (Juni-5-2012) Invited Lecture: Risk-sensitivity in sensorimotor control, Eighth Computational Motor Control Workshop (CMCW 2012) at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
Braun D (Dezember-10-2011) Invited Lecture: Risk-sensitivity in motor control, Bernstein Symposium "Bayesian Inference: From Spikes to Behaviour", Tübingen, Germany.
Braun D (September-2009) Invited Lecture: Structural Learning in Motor Control, International Workshop on Computational Principles of Sensorimotor Learning, Kloster Irsee, Germany.
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Last updated: Montag, 22.05.2017